‘Cosmos Bank heist accused linked to Chennai bank case’

Mubarak Ansari
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Pune City Police Cyber Crime Cell has claimed that four out of seven accused arrested by them for hacking Cosmos Bank’s server and transfer of Rs 94.42 crore, are also involved in a similar case with City Union Bank, Chennai. The fraudsters had transferred Rs 33 crore from the Chennai bank.

Pune: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Pune City Police Cyber Crime Cell has claimed that four out of seven accused arrested by them for hacking Cosmos Bank’s server and transfer of Rs 94.42 crore, are also involved in a similar case with City Union Bank, Chennai. The fraudsters had transferred Rs 33 crore from the Chennai bank.

The police submitted to a court here that arrested accused Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Jabbar (28), Fahim Azim  Khan (30), both residents of Sillod (Aurangabad district), Naresh Laxminarayan Maharana (34) of Odisha, who lived in Palghar, and Yustes Augustin Vaz alias Anthony (41) of Mumbai, have withdrawn money in the City Union Bank case. 

The police said they are also involved in similar cases elsewhere. Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW & Cyber Crime) Jyotipriya Singh told Sakal Times they have obtained video footage of the accused persons while withdrawing cash at ATMs.  

Cops, banks abroad seek details
 DCP Singh said that after they wrote to law enforcement agencies and banks in 28 countries where Rs 78 crore of Cosmos Bank were withdrawn, they have started getting requests for more information from many of them. “We are communicating through Interpol. Till now we have got replies from three countries including France and Hong Kong who sought more details of the case,” she added.

“There were two FIRs registered by the bank with Chennai police early this year for transfer of Rs 33 crore – both in India as well as outside the country similar to the Cosmos Bank case.  The case was unsolved till now. After their police custody is over, the accused persons will be handed over to Chennai police for further investigation.”

Hackers had managed to transfer Rs 94.42 crore through a malware attack on the server of Pune-based Cosmos Bank, cloning thousands of the bank’s debit cards over a period of two days. The fraudulent transactions were carried out on August 11 and August 13 through ATMs located in India (Rs 2.5 crore) and 28 other countries. The cards of the cooperative bank customers that were cloned were of Visa and Rupay. 

According to the police, the arrested accused persons are part of the ring which withdrew Rs 2.5 crore in India. These accused persons had withdrawn a total of Rs 89.47 lakh from ATMs in Kolhapur using 95 cloned debit cards on August 11. The police recovered Rs 3.55 lakh from the arrested accused. 

The initial investigation of the city police, along with Cyber Crime Cell of the city police, revealed that in India, 413 cloned debit cards were used in different cities to withdraw around Rs 2.5 crore in 2,800 transactions.
 

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