Updated on: Thursday, November 04, 2021, 11:07 PM IST

Foreigner held for hacking bank system and diverting ₹5.43 crore


The South Central cyber police arrested a foreign national for allegedly hacking into the online system of a bank from the Gulf region and fraudulently diverting ₹ 5.43 crore. As informed by the police, the money was diverted from the bank's three accounts to 78 other bank accounts in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and other states.

The police said that the accused Michael Chibuzi Okonko, 29, was arrested from Delhi and is a key member of a cyber hacking gang. This is the fifth arrest in the case, however, the earlier four were mere beneficiary account holders who helped the gang by opening bank accounts to transfer the money, added the officials. The bank officials had approached the police after detecting unlawful transactions in August this year.

On the complaint of a senior vice president of the bank Dev Narayan, the South Central cyber police registered an offence of impersonation, cheating along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and began their investigation.

According to the officials, ₹ 5.43 crore had been transferred from three bank accounts to multiple accounts of other banks. Initially, the police managed to freeze accounts with a total balance of ₹86 lakh. The remaining money was already withdrawn by the fraudsters. Initially, the police started to track the beneficiary account holders in which the money had been deposited. One of the beneficiary, a woman from Assam, told the investigators that, a person posing as a doctor befriended her on social media in February this year. The 'doctor' claimed that he wanted to open a clinic in Delhi for which he required a bank account to transfer the money. He requested her to open a new bank, and she obliged.

The woman opened the account and sent the register sim card to the accused. He later diverted ₹ 6.12 lakh in her account.

A teacher from MP was similarly lured by the gang to open an account for them for a mere ₹ 10,000.During the probe, the police identified the ATM centre from which the money was withdrawn, the police later zeroed in on the foreign national who was captured in the CCTV camera while withdrawing the money. He was arrested in Delhi.

The police have seized 11 mobile phones, three laptops, and two hard discs from Okonko.

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Published on: Thursday, November 04, 2021, 11:07 PM IST