Online fraud: Two BSNL staff among 5 held

Cuttack: The Commissionerate Police today busted an online fraud racket and five members including two staff of BSNL.

Talking to the media, DCP Sanjeev Arora said police had received a report on cyber crime in Markat Nagar area in which someone had managed to hack the username and password of an account and withdrew Rs 25 lakh by obtaining the OTP (one-time password) number from the SIM card of the original owner through a duplicate mobile SIM card.

“In course of investigation, we have arrested five persons of which three we had arrested three persons from Kolkata and brought them here on transit remand. After their interrogation, they would be arrested today. The remaining two persons who are the employees of BSNL’s Salepur telecom division have also been arrested. During investigation, it was found that the two BSNL employees had violated the guidelines in the issuance of duplicate SIM cards and provided the SIM card to the prime accused in the name of other person other than the original SIM card owner. After we found the complicity of these two employees in this fraudulent act, we arrested them,” Arora said.

He also said that the three accused who were arrested from Kolkata are veteran criminals and have several such cases pending in different police stations in other states including Odisha. They are mostly involved in such cases in Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

“Police are on the hunt for another one or two accused. We have formed special teams to track him down,” the DCP pointed out.

Asked whether a Nigerian national is involved in this crime, Arora said as per the investigation, two other persons are also involved in this case. “All the accused are educated and they know how to manipulate these things,” he informed.

The DCP also informed that the police have seized a gold chain, cash worth Rs 95,000 and three bikes from the possession of the arrested accused.

The five persons arrested from Kolkata have been identified as Akhilesh Pandey, Satish Yadav and Arun Mishra while the two arrested BSNL employees are Dhruba Charan Khatai and Krutibasa Kandi.

According to reports, Shalini Das, daughter of Sanjib Das of CDA area in Cuttack, has a bank account in the Bank of India (BoI)’s Markat Nagar branch.

The incident came to light after Sanjib found that a sum of Rs 25,11,084 has been withdrawn from his daughter’s account in 71 transactions between November 26 and 28 last year. After contacting the bank officials, he came to know that the money which has been transferred to five fake accounts has been utilised in the purchase of gold ornaments and other items.

After getting information from the bank, Sanjib later lodged a complaint with the Markat Nagar police.