NEW DELHI - The Madhya Pradesh police have arrested two persons from Mumbai for allegedly misappropriating lakhs of rupees belonging to at least 13 people through credit/debit card details obtained illegally through darknet with the help of a Pakistani handler.
Ramkumar Pillai and Ramkumar Nadar were arrested after Jaikishan Singh, a manager with Bank of India, Ujjain, complained that Rs 72,000 had been illegally spent from his credit card.
Their handler, Sheikh Afzal operates from Lahore in Pakistan and has access to darknet (hidden websites not accessible through search engines) e-commerce website FE Shop, based in Russia, which trades in illegal credit/debit card and other financial transaction details, Indore cyber cell police chief, Jitendra Singh said.
The duo, with the help of Afzal, used to buy credit/debit card details for $9-$12 and use those details to buy goods and flight tickets from foreign-based websites in which one time password (OTP) was not required.
“Afzal held the master control for entering into FE Shop and he had the mechanism to keep tabs on what the others were doing,” Singh said. Police said Nadar and Pillai used to interact daily with Afzal over Skype and transferred half of the defrauded money to him through virtual currency Bitcoins, which can be traded without any personal identification.
As Nadar had worked as a manager in a reputed bank in Mumbai earlier, he used to get refunds for using the credit cards illegally.
“The gang has been operating from 2013. We have so far identified 13 victims and are still calculating the amount defrauded,” Singh said, adding that it ran into lakhs.
The police said Nadar and Pillai lived a lavish lifestyle and used to frequently fly abroad for holidays and buy expensive clothes. “Nadar (a manager with reputed bank till last year) bought an Armani suit for his girlfriend for Rs 66,000 from Bangkok,” Singh said.