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Indian banker charged with online funds fraud

John Ribeiro | March 10, 2010
Police in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu are investigating how he got access to account details

BANGALORE, 10 MARCH 2010 - A senior Indian banker has been arrested by Indian police for an online fraud in which hackers siphoned close to 2.7 million Indian rupees (US$60,000) from a bank account, a senior police official of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu said on Wednesday.

Three other people were arrested previously in the case, S. Balu, the head of the investigation in the cybercrime unit of the Tamil Nadu police, said in a telephone interview.

Police began investigating the case after a businessman in Tamil Nadu complained that money had been siphoned out of his bank account. The funds were withdrawn in 19 transactions between July 20 and Aug. 13 last year from the account at an unnamed Indian bank, according to police.

Hackers logged into the compromised account in a short span of time from various locations around the world including Nigeria and Canada, Balu said.

The arrested banker was identified by police as B.S. Sainath Reddy, and was working as an assistant vice-president at Axis Bank. Axis is a large Indian bank and not the one at which the compromised account was held, police said.

Reddy is alleged to have siphoned out 500,000 rupees from the compromised account from a computer at his residence, Balu said. The police have traced an IP address used by the hackers to the computer at his home, he added.

The police has earlier suspected that the hackers had used key loggers or phishing mails to get hold of Salahudeen's identity and password for his Internet bank account. But this is now being ruled out, Balu said. His team is now investigating the possibility that the hackers might have intercepted communications to Salahudeen from his bank, including one which informed him of his account ID and password, Balu said.

The other three hackers arrested previously have said that they had transferred funds to accounts at the instructions of unknown persons from whom they received a commission, Balu said. Police have to still track down the persons who may have master-minded the crime, he added.

 

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