In one of the biggest e-ticketing scams busted by the police, the crime branch on Sunday arrested four people, including a woman.
Police said the woman’s Bangkok-based mother and brother are suspected of being the brains behind the more-than-Rs-5-crore racket.
Police arrested three of the four accused, Naeem Ahmed (24), Shahid Iqbal (25) and Feroz Alam (23), from Kolkata. Their accomplice, Kanika Budhiraja (27), was arrested from Rana Pratap Bagh in the Capital.
Police said Budhiraja’s mother Manjit Kaur alias Karampal Kaur and brother Sanjit Singh are the masterminds. The gang allegedly duped commercial airlines across the world of crores of rupees.
Explaining their modus operandi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Neeraj Thakur said they first bought airlines and railway tickets on the Internet using credit card details obtained fraudulently.
“Budhiraja’s mother would provide credit card details to Ahmed, who would use them to purchase airline and railway tickets over the Internet. He also passed the credit card details to Iqbal and Alam.”
Then, the DCP said, Iqbal and Alam, who run travel agencies in Kolkata, sold these tickets for cash by offering customers huge discounts. Ahmed would deposit the money in an Axis Bank account for all the stolen credit card details he received from Kaur via e-mail. Budhiraja would collect the money from the bank and send it to her mother through Hawala channels.
The matter was brought to light when American Express submitted a complaint regarding credit card misuse. Two complaints on the same issue were also received from Kingfisher Airlines and Spicejet.
The police said credit cards of over 40 Indian and foreign banks had been misused by the gang. The credit cards preferred by the gang were American Express, ABN Ambro Russia and Citibank USA.