The Malabar Hill police have arrested a man suspected to be part of a cyber fraud gang, which duped a SoBo woman recently. The accused had hacked the email account of the complainant's friend and sent an email to her, seeking money for a medical emergency. The woman discovered the fraud after transferring the money.
According to the police, the complainant, Shahnaz Kharas, received an email from her friend Sandhya Jaiswal in the first fortnight of August. The email stated that her (Jaiswal's) college professor needed money for his daughter's surgery. It added that she was writing to Kharas about this instead of calling as there was a network problem, assuring repayment on her return to India. Kharas immediately transferred Rs 40,000 into a bank account given in the email. "A day after sending the money, Kharas called up Jaiswal to confirm she'd received it. That's when she found out about the hack. Similar emails had been sent to other friends of Jaiswal," said a police source.
The police, during their investigation, obtained details of the account in which the money had been transferred. It was of a nationalised bank's Koper Khairane branch, belonging to Firoz Ali Mohd Ali Shaikh, 38, a Dharavi resident. Shaikh was arrested yesterday; during interrogation, he told the police that a friend of his, identified as Razi Javed Ali from Kausa in Mumbra, had taken details of his bank account a few months ago on the pretext of business dealings, saying some transactions would be done through his account, another source said. The source added, "Details have revealed that 16 suspicious transactions worth over Rs 15 lakh were carried out through this account recently."
Shaikh claimed he had no idea what his friend was up to; the police, however, aren't completely buying this and are probing the matter further. The police have launched a manhunt for Ali and another suspect, whose name cropped up in the probe.
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