The Mulund police claimed to have detected a Rs 1 crore banking fraud within 18 hours with the arrest of a 32-year-old man from Vasai late on Friday.
Initial investigation carried out by the authorities has revealed that the bank and its officials were not at fault. Probe showed that the fund was fraudulently transferred after the hacker (kingpin still absconding) cracked the username and password of the current account of a cosmetics company at the bank's Mulund branch on Thursday, between 9.15am and 10am. The amount was transferred to 12 different accounts in nationalized and private banks in and outside the city after the hacker impersonated as company director Ankur Korane (29) to gain access into the current account and transfer money through real time gross settlement (RTGS) in 45 minutes.
At 6pm on Friday, the Mulund police rushed to a nationalized bank at Manickpur on receiving a call that the bank had made a person—identified as Shroy Ral Pereira (32) —wait . Pereira had visited the bank to withdraw Rs 10 lakh out of the Rs 30 lakh credited into his account. "All the banks to which the 12 transactions were made were intimated about the fraud. The accounts were frozen, which helped in the recovery of Rs 54 lakh. We are trying to trace the channels to which the balance Rs 46 lakh was credited and from which locations it was removed," said aMulund police officer.
On Saturday, Pereira was produced before the Mulund metropolitan magistrate court . Additional commissioner of police (East) Quaiser Khalid confirmed to TOI on Saturday the arrest of one person from the nationalized bank's Manickpur branch on Friday. The kingpin had used the accused's account to transfer Rs 30 lakh on 2-3 instalments. "The team showed prompt response in nabbing an accused which helped us in freezing the accounts and saving money from being siphoned off. His arrest will help us in getting hold of the main culprit," said Khalid.
Korane had approached the Mulund police on Thursday at 9pm, 12 hours after the money was transferred from his company's current account. In the complaint, Korane said, "I learnt about the transaction after I received an SMS from the bank. I spent the day making calls to the bank, placing requests to send a message to the banks to freeze the 12 accounts where the money was transferred . On the bank's instructions that I approached the police to lodge an FIR so that they stop transactions from the company's account."
Around 10pm on Friday, Pereira was brought to Mulund police station. "Periera initially said it was his own money. But his lie was caught when cops went through his account and found only Rs 600 deposited in the last six months. He revealed that a friend had sought his bank account number, informing him that he wanted to transfer a huge sum and promised to pay him a commission. The hacker may have promised commission to other account holders too," said investigators , adding, they suspect an insider hand behind the fraud.
The accused have been booked under IPC sections 34 (common intention), 419 (impersonation ) and 420 (cheating). They have also been booked under IT Act 66 (C) (identity theft) and 66 (D) (impersonation by using computer resource).