Hyderabad: Police seek Interpol’s help in Mahesh Bank case

Hyderabad: The city police is seeking help from Interpol to identify and arrest the main conspirator of the A. P. Mahesh Cooperative Bank Limited scam. The main accused in the case is only known by his nickname “Capital”.

In January, hackers had gained access into bank accounts and diverted around Rs 12.5 crore into four different accounts. The amount was later transferred to 115 bank accounts and again rerouted to 398 bank accounts and later withdrawn from 938 ATMs. The Hyderabad police arrested 24 persons in the case after two month investigation and spending around Rs. 57 lakh, it turned out to be one of the costliest investigations in the history of Hyderabad police.

C V Anand, the top cop of the Hyderabad police said that documentation of the record to be furnished to the Interpol is being done by the officers concerned. “A detailed note will be sent to the Interpol through proper channels to issue a blue corner notice,” Anand said while interacting with reporters after a press meet on Wednesday.

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Interpol issues a blue corner notice when the suspect or accused wanted in a case remains unidentified. Whatever vague details available to help establish his identity are furnished by the local police to the Interpol agency through which law enforcement countries across the globe help in the arrest of the person.

“IP address of the email and other communication tools used by the person ‘Capital’ are with us. All the available information will be furnished. Once identity is established, we will again write to them requesting them to issue a red corner notice,” said the Commissioner.

In March, the police arrested one Nigerian national, Ikpa Stephen Orji, in a key-fraud case. The hackers manipulated four bank accounts and transferred Rs. 12.48 crores.

As the scam broke out and the Cyber crimes Police Station registered a case on January 24, teams fanned out to over 14 States and cities including Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, with around 100 officers working simultaneously on the case.

These teams found the IP logs for Internet Banking for the 500-plus accounts, which were then identified as proxies with locations indicating the USA, Canada and Romania. Police also found the hackers had used VPN services of a Bihar-based firm from whom proxy IPs were allocated to persons in the UK.

The hackers sent around 200 phishing mails between November 4 and November 16 to employees of the bank. The mails contained Remote Access Trojans (RAT), and with the employees clicking on the phishing links, the RAT got embedded in the bank’s computers.

Since all computers in the bank were interconnected, the hackers could remotely access the core banking server, using which they altered the balance in four accounts that were earlier opened under their supervision. The cash was then transferred to various accounts, the handlers and account holders of which were paid a commission of 10 per cent.

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