Pradeep Pattanayak

May sound unbelievable, a senior Odisha cadre IPS officer’s wife has fallen prey to cyber crime! 

As per reports, senior IPS officer Suhant Nath’s wife, a doctor by profession, lost Rs 10 lakh from her salary account which was withdrawn by unidentified cyber criminals over a period of two years.

Police said the amount had been withdrawn in 31 transactions before the loot came to light, recently. A case to this effect has been lodged with the Cuttack Cyber police station, hastening an investigation. 

As per the complaint, the top cop’s wife had received a message on her mobile phone on March 15, 2019, informing her about an unauthorised transaction wherein Rs 2000 had been debited from her account. Following this, she visited the treasury branch of the bank and got her debit card blocked. 

A month later, following thorough verification, her card was un-blocked. However, recently she came to know that over Rs 10 lakh had been withdrawn from her account through another 30 transactions. She then lodged a complaint at the Cyber police station. 

Meanwhile, some ex bank officials suspect that the criminals had cloned her debit card in perpetrating the crime. “Her debit card might have been cloned. Otherwise, withdrawing Rs 10 lakh in 31 transactions without raising a stink seems impossible. Those must have been online purchases or purchases at big shops or malls,” observed former bank officer Janakisha Badapanda. 

There are however, many unanswered questions. Like, how the account holder did not get a hint about withdrawal of Rs 10 lakh from salary account, why did she not get any withdrawal alert while the service is mandatory for debits from account, is any bank staff involved in it, and so on. 

 “The possibility of her sharing PIN and Card numbers with friends or relatives can’t be ruled out. If it is a case of cyber fraud, it is a big challenge because Rs 10 lakh is not a small amount,” said Lingaraj Sethi, a cyber expert. 
While the number of increasing incidents of cyber crimes has been a big challenge for the police, DGP designate Sunil Kumar Bansal has laid emphasis to curb the menace.

“We are working to control cyber crimes by improving our technical capabilities and employing latest technologies and methodologies,” said Bansal during a recent interview with OTV.