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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

2-day hack, Rs 94 cr gone... 15 months later, still no lead in Cosmos Bank cyber fraud case

Special Investigation Team (SIT) is now pointing to Gulf as to where mastermind is holed up

pune Updated: Nov 16, 2019 14:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
The hacks took place on August 11 and August 13.
The hacks took place on August 11 and August 13.(iStockphoto)
         

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the State Government to probe into the August 2018 multi-crore Cosmos Cooperative Bank malware attack case has been unable to report any major breakthrough in the case with regards to the masterminds of the crime, 15 months after the attack.

On Thursday, the SIT filed a supplementary chargesheet against five accused in the court.

The five accused in the chargesheet, running into 400 pages, have been identified as Feroz Yasin Shaikh (37) of Mumbai, Salman Naeem Baig (31), Shahbaz Arif Khatri (30), Asif Jamil Shaikh (31) and Shahbaz Farooq Shaikh (29), all from Thane. Accused of being ‘ money mules’ they are under judicial custody and lodged in Yerawada Central Prison.

They have been accused of allededly withdrawing money to the tune of Rs 61 lakh from different ATMs in Jaipur and Indore. All five are currently under judicial custody and lodged in Yerwada Central Prison. Police said the five accused are “money mules” who had allegedly withdrawn money to the tune of Rs 61 lakh from different ATMs in Jaipur and Indore.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (cyber crime), Sambhaji Kadam told Hindustan Times, “We have filed a supplementary chargesheet against the accused in the court on Thursday in the Cosmos Bank cyber attack case and further investigation is on in the case ,” he said. The SIT has arrested 18 accused in connection with the case so far and on the lookout for the mastermind who has been evading the investigating agencies for a long time.

On August 14, 2018, Cosmos cooperative bank reported a malware attack on its online banking system stating that unidentified hackers siphoned Rs 94.42 crore through ATMs and online transfers.

After a few days, the Maharashtra government constituted a SIT headed by the then deputy commissioner (economic offences wing and cyber cell) Jyotipriya Singh to probe the cyber heist. The Pune cops have recovered Rs 14 crores so far in the cyber robbery ever since the SIT probe started.

On August 14, Cosmos Bank had revealed the details of the Rs 94.42 crore theft from the pool account by a multinational hacking ring on August 11 and August 13.

The bank first lost an aggregate of Rs 80.50 crore following multiple ATM swipes in 28 countries. In the second attack, the hackers stole Rs 13.92 crore via Swift transfers.

Cosmos cooperative bank malware attack

What’s lost

Indentified hackers siphoned Rs 94.42 crore through ATMs and online transfers.

Rs 13.92 crore via Swift transfers

Rs 80.50 crore multiple ATM swipes in 28 countries, includig Rs 61 lakh from ATMs in Jaipur and Indore

Pune police recovery

Rs 14 crore

Five accused in chargesheet

Accused of being ‘ money mules’; under judicial custody and lodged in Yerawada Central Prison

Feroz Yasin Shaikh (37), Mumbai

Salman Naeem Baig (31)

Shahbaz Arif Khatri (30)

Asif Jamil Shaikh (31)

Shahbaz Farooq Shaikh (29)

“History sheeters were used as money mules to withdraw amounts and were recruited on a commission basis. The stolen data of the bank was sold on the dark net and there are multiple layers of the scam which are being unfolded. The mastermind is considered to have fled the country and is holed up somewhere in the Middle East.”

SITofficial investigating the case on condition of anonymity