Four engineering students have been arrested by Kolkata Police for duping a private bank of crores by using fake mobile wallet transactions over the last few months, officials said.
Police said the gang leader has been identified as Jewel Rana, an engineering student and a resident of Murshidabad. They said Rana started the operation and later engaged three of his friends. A SIM card dealer was also an accomplice in the crime.
“Rana was the mastermind of the entire crime. By opening accounts for wallet transaction of a private bank, he and his three friends have duped the outfit of more than Rs 8 crore. One of the arrested persons is Habibur Rahman, who is a dealer of cellphone SIM cards and a resident of Murshidabad,” Debashis Baral, joint commissioner of police (crime), said.
A wallet transaction is done through a computer or a smartphone connected to the internet and it enables the user to make e-commerce transactions. An individual’s bank account can also be linked with this wallet system.
The gang managed to open nearly 1000 accounts with this bank using the SIM cards provided by Rahman. The accounts were opened mainly by residents of Murshidabad district. A cash incentive was promised for those registering for the scheme.
The private bank in the city lodged a complaint with the police in February saying that someone was withdrawing money from their accounts by using their newly-launched mobile wallet service. The entire transaction was done within three days.
“The transactions were done through the prepaid SIM cards that were given to them without any valid document. Rahman supplied these SIM cards,” Baral said.
The bank fraud section of the detective department has arrested eight people so far.
“The entire operation took place through net banking system. Through the IP address, we have collected the cell phone numbers, and accordingly, nabbed Rana first in last week. Then acting on the information he coughed up, we arrested the other three students and the cellphone SIM dealer and three other residents of Hariharpara of Murshidabad,” the police officer said.
Baral said they are also questioning the cell phone service provider as to how they allowed Rahman to sell pre-activated SIM cards without any valid documents.