Suspects who stole from Cosmos Bank used same strategy on four other banks, say police
The four suspects arrested last week for their alleged involvement in the Rs 94.42 crore Cosmos Bank online theft in August had used similar modus operandi in December 2017 to steal Rs 33.93 crore from the City Union Bank in Bengaluru, police investigators said on Tuesday.
Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Jabbar, 28, Fahim Azim Khan, 30, Naresh Maharana, and Yustace Augustine Vaz alias Anthony, 41, had allegedly used cloned cards for the fraud, investigators said.
Police said the four had confessed to four similar bank frauds.
On August 14, the 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.
The bank’s managing director, Suhas Subhash Gokhale, had lodged an FIR at Pune’s Chatuhshrungi police station under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections relating to theft, cheating, conspiracy and the Information Technology Act, 2008.
The Rs 33 crore fraud, too, was committed with the help of cloned debit cards which were used at ATMs in Bangalore, an official said.
“Their absolute involvement has been revealed in the CCTV footage we have obtained from the ATMs related to City Union Bank. An FIR, in this case, had been registered in December 2017,’’ said deputy police commissioner Jyotipriya Singh.
“The offence was undetected so far and we have been able to establish the links of these accused in the Rs 33 crore cyber fraud in Chennai through CCTV footage. The accused will be handed over to Chennai police for further investigation in the case.”
Singh called the confession of the four a major breakthrough and said the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the multi-country fraud, was focused on nabbing the fraud mastermind to find out the international linkages of the organized cybercriminals.