Hi-tech cell to probe online theft case

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The city police on Saturday decided to hand over the probe into the online theft case, in which case Rs 11.14 lakh was siphoned off from the online account of a city-based doctor to hi-tech crime enquiry cell in the state capital.

The cops decided to take the help of cyber forensic wing considering the complexity of the case.

"It cannot be probed like a routine crime. Criminals have hacked into the online security system of a leading private bank. A pan-national cyber racket seems to be behind this," said Central circle inspector D S Suneesh Babu. The cyber forensics wing will run a series of tests on the online network of the bank and the victim, before picking up suspects from the bank and the telecom company, for a detailed interrogation.

"We have a list of suspects who will be questioned. It is certain that a racket is operating within the bank to provide information about the account holders to cyber criminals," said a police official. As per the probe, the fraudsters had been watching the online activities of the account holder for several days.

On March 30, the criminals accessed the online bank account of Dr Shabeer Khan, who works at Lakeshore Hospital, and transferred money to 20 accounts in different bank branches in the country. "A network of online criminals operating from various parts of the country is suspected to be behind the incident. From obtaining a duplicate SIM card in the name of the doctor, to opening accounts in various banks to transfer the money, the criminals have managed to create a complex situation in order to prevent any sort of detection," the official said.

The criminals obtained a duplicate of the victim's mobile SIM card from Andhra Pradesh and used it to activate the online transaction. The SIM was used to get the pin number that was sent by the bank to transfer the money from the account.

"We will be looking on what grounds the mobile telecom operator issued the duplicate SIM card to the fraudsters, while the registered customer was using the number in Kerala," the official said.

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