Debt-ridden stockbroker from Pune central to 216 crore cybercrime case

Accused has been identified as Anagha Modak (40), who has done an MBA in finance and faces multiple previous cases of cheating in Pune. She is suspected to owe crores in debt as per preliminary information
By Shalaka Shinde
UPDATED ON MAR 18, 2021 04:06 PM IST
The unique method of data theft and pending transactions landed on police radar after the woman started asking for hackers in the market up for a project. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A highly educated stockbroker was found to be behind the failed plot of siphoning money to the tune of 216 crore from bank accounts using stolen details in exchange for hard cash.

The accused has been identified as Anagha Modak (40), who has done an MBA in finance and faces multiple previous cases of cheating in Pune. She is suspected to owe crores in debt as per preliminary information.

Modak, with advice from one person from Aurangabad, planned the entire transaction and demanded hard cash worth 2.5 crore from the potential benefactors of the scheme. The potential benefactors included a filmmaker, a news channel owner drowning in debt and his partner. The stream of data containing bank account details came from two locations - Hyderabad in Telangana and Surat in Gujarat.

The amount of 216,29,34,240.87 was found to be in only five accounts from the list of accounts and corresponding data that Modak was going to buy. “Of those five accounts, the majority are corporate accounts, and one is a dormant bank account,” said Bhagyashree Navatake, deputy commissioner of police, cyber-crime and economic offence wing (EOW) of Pune police.

The unique method of data theft and pending transactions landed on police radar after the woman started asking for hackers in the market up for a project. The information reached the police through sources and the police sent decoy hackers to the woman and got in touch with her.

The entire plot was made and executed by Modak, who is also a divorced mother of a school-going child, according to her statement to the police.

Along with Modak, the others arrested in the case have been identified as Ravindra Mahadev Mashalkar (34), a resident of Ambejogai road in Latur; Mukesh Harishchandra More (37), a resident of Yerawada in Pune; Rajshekhar Yadaiha Mamidi (34), a resident of Hyderabad; Rohan Ravindra Mankani (37), a resident of Sahakarnagar in Pune; Vishal Dhananjay Bendre (45), a resident of Aurangabad; Atmaram Harishchandra Kadam (34), a resident of Mulund in Mumbai; Varun Shrikadam Verma (37), a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Vikaschand Mahendrakumar Yadav (25), a resident of Surat in Gujarat; Rajesh Munnalal Sharma (42), a resident of Aurangabad and Paramjitsingh Sindhu (42), a resident of Aurangabad.

The data coming from Gujarat is suspected to have flowed from Yadav to Verma to Kadam to Mashalkar before it was supposed to make way to Modak. The chain from Hyderabad includes Mamidi for now. However, the main source of data from both locations is yet to be identified, according to the police.

Yadav, Verma, and Kadam are software professionals who used to work in a company in Gurgaon and were previously known to each other. While Mankani is a locally popular student figure from Pune and is the son of a filmmaker who also owns a marketing agency in Pune.

While Sindhu is a businessman, he was associated with Sharma who owned a news channel that recently shut down.

A man named Sudhir Shantilal Bhatewara alias Jain (54), who was found with cash worth 25 lakh has not yet been arrested as his involvement in the case has not been verified.

A case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 43/66 and 66(d) of the Information Technology Act has been registered at the cyber police station.

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