22 Bhayandar residents booked for hacking Bank of Maharashtra servers, siphoning off Rs 1.4 crore

22 Bhayandar residents booked for hacking Bank of Maharashtra servers, siphoning off Rs 1.4 crore
Representational Image. Courtesy: Livemint

Navghar police have booked 22 people from Bhayandar for allegedly hacking into the central server of Bank of Maharashtra and siphoning off around Rs 1.42 crore from the bank.

According to a complaint filed with Navghar police, bank officials claimed that the accused made more than a hundred ‘request money’ transactions using the United Payments Interface (UPI) app between December 26, 2016 and January 18, 2017.

In January, when the bank found out that the transactions were fraudulent, it sent notices to the account holders asking them to return the money.

However, after all accused chose to ignore the notices, bank authorities filed a complaint with Navghar police station.

Bhayander residents Jaswant Damania, Prateek Poojary, Bharat Gawade, along with Aurangabad resident Deepak and 18 others have been booked for cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and identity theft.

Jaswant and Deepak are the ones who reportedly hacked the bank’s server last year in a bid to siphon money.

According to police inspector S. V. Shetye of Navghar police station, the accused already had accounts with Bank of Maharashtra before committing the crime. They subsequently downloaded the UPI app on their phones and linked their accounts with it.

UPI is a payment system launched by National Payments Corporation of India and regulated by Reserve Bank of India. It allows users to transfer funds, up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh, between two bank accounts instantly.

After hacking the bank’s server, the accused exploited a bug in the UPI app which allowed them to transfer funds into each other’s accounts without having adequate balance.

Police are currently questioning all the accused to ascertain the scope of their involvement.

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