The Juhu police have arrested two fraudsters who allegedly cheated Yash Raj Films as well as their regular costume supplier by hacking the supplier’s email and cheating the production house into sending their fees into their own accounts. The police have recovered evidence to indicate that the duo have made lakhs of rupees in this manner so far.
The police initiated investigations earlier this month, when the costume supplier approached them with a complaint.
“A week ago, the costume supplier approached Yash Raj to enquire about their pending dues of ₹1.75 lakh and the production house responded saying they had already transferred money to a ‘new’ account specified by them in their email. Upon verification, it was found that someone had sent an email from the costume supplier’s official email with bank account details that do not belong to the supplier at all,” an officer with the Juhu police said.
After the complaint was received, the police made enquiries with the bank where the money was transferred and found out the names of the two account holders. Acting on the police’s instructions, the bank officials called the account holders on Sunday, saying there were some formalities they needed to complete. A police team was waiting in plain clothes at the bank and took the two, Ravi Dubey and Jitendra Rathod, into custody as soon as they showed up. After preliminary investigations established their involvement, the two were arrested and charged with cheating and impersonation under the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.
“We searched the homes of the accused and have seized 21 debit and credit cards from different banks, as well as documents to indicate deposits worth lakhs of rupees in numerous bank accounts. A team will soon be leaving for their native Rajasthan to conduct further enquiries. Prima facie investigations indicate that the duo have been active for several months,” the officer said.
The accused would hack emails of commercial establishments or create similar IDs. They would get in touch with clients to “inform” them about “change in banking details”.
Police said that lack of proper scrutiny and the system of trust that businesses operate on would allow the accused to get away with their racket.
Attempts are on to find out how the duo hacked the costume supplier’s email account. “We have also found out that in some cases, the accused would create email IDs similar to those of commercial establishments, with the spelling differing by one or two alphabets, and get in touch with the clients of their targets, after which they would swindle the targets into paying money into their own accounts. We suspect that they had help from people inside their target establishments who fed them information about the clients, and this part is being verified further,” the officer said.
Senior Police Inspector Pandharinath Wavhal confirmed the arrests and said further investigations were on.