Officials of the Pune Cyber Crime Cell, with the help of students from IIT-Kanpur and its former director professor Sanjay Dhande, arrested a 25-year-old youth from Mumbai for allegedly holding a beneficiary account into which cyber criminals had transferred money via a couple of transactions. The suspect was identified as Vinayak Mahadev Trilotkar, a resident of Lower Parel.
Trilotkar, who works for a private firm in Mumbai, was paid three per cent of the total amount (i.e. Rs 3,000) by the criminals for letting them use his account for conducting illegal transactions worth Rs 1 lakh, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Gopinath Patil.
He said, “In Professor Dhande’s case, what astonished us was the fact that the beneficiary accounts used by the conmen for illegal transactions were opened at the ICICI’s Fort branch in Mumbai. Similar accounts, in different banks, have also been opened in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The cyber criminals have conducted 12 illegal transactions through 11 beneficiary accounts.”
Patil added that a team of Cyber Crime Cell, headed by Inspector Sanjay Tungar, is now working on the leads provided by Trilotkar during interrogation. “The team has reached Mumbai to nab other suspects involved in the offence,” he said.
Police officials said that the cyber criminals used names and documents of gullible youths like Trilotkar to open bank accounts for transferring money through illegal transactions. The conmen then gave three per cent commission to the account holder for letting them use the account.
“In several cases, we have observed that banks either violated KYC norms or didn’t take them seriously. Due to such beneficiary accounts, it becomes difficult to trap the masterminds behind such cyber crimes,” a senior official said.
Professor Dhande’s bank account at the Aundh branch of ICICI Bank was hacked by unidentified men, who withdrew Rs 19 lakh from it, in the first week of September. But before they hacked his account, the culprits blocked Dhande’s SIM card to prevent him from receiving account-related alerts from the bank. It was not until the bank called Dhande and informed him that his balance had dipped beyond lowest limit that the fraud came to the fore. Dhande immediately lodged a complaint with the bank, and filed an FIR at the Chaturshrungi police station on September 14. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Sanjay Shinde confirmed that Dhande, and his students from IIT-Kanpur had helped police officials in nabbing Trilotkar.