Air ticket racket involving payment gateway hacking busted, 3 arrested

Mumbai: Mumbai Crime Branch busted an air ticketing racket which involved booking domestic and international tickets by hacking payment gateways, and arrested three persons, police said on Tuesday.

The racket came to light when a man who booked an air ticket to Goa in December 2018 observed the email address, mobile number and cost of ticket were different, an official said. His inquiries revealed that the ticket was booked after hacking the bank account of another person and payment was done online to a certain travel company, he said.

The man then approached Unit VII of the Crime Branch which began a probe. “The IP address of the computer which was used to book the ticket after hacking the payment gateway was traced to Madhya Pradesh. A team picked up Rajsingh Parmar (28) from there on May 6,” he informed.

The official said Parmar, who has studied till Class XII, had come to Mumbai in 2015 and was working his estate agent uncle Pran Singh (48). We also arrested Pran Singh and a driver Raghavendra Singh. During their interrogation it came to light that Parmar used to book air tickets from various travel ticket booking sites.

While making payment of the booked air tickets, the accused used to hack payment platform of foreign company, which used to link travel suppliers to online travel agencies,” he said. As the payment platform was not secure, the accused used to succeed in making payment for the ticket without spending anything from his pocket, the official said.

With this modus operandi, Parmar has booked thousands of domestic and international air tickets over the past two years, worth at least Rs 2 crore, and also gave concession to travelers, he said. “We are yet to analyse his email ID from which more information on the racket and those involved will be had,” said Inspector Manish Shridhankar.

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