The cyber crime police have arrested two Nigerian nationals who had sneaked in a phishing mail - Key Logger - into the state cooperative bank's main server, accessed customer accounts, and transferred 2.5 crores to 32 different accounts.
Thanks to timely alerts and complaints by bank officials, cybercrime police managed to retrieve 1.5 crores. The remaining 1 crore, however, had already been transferred to two Nigeria-based banks. The
two suspects -- Ekene Godwin, 37, and Augustine, 40 - were picked up from Uttam Nagar in Delhi, police told TOI. A transit permit for the duo had already been obtained from a Dwaraka court, and they would be brought by train to Chennai at 7 am on Thursday, officials said.
Usually, banks never have an internet connection to computers having the core banking system (CBS) in order to avoid viruses. Augustine, however, managed to track and find one CBS unit that had an internet connection. He sent a phishing mail to the state cooperative bank in Mannadi. When a staffer clicked the phishing mail, the embedded software ‘key logger’ got installed on the computer in August 2022. The Nigerian managed to
collect data entered through the system and waited till November.
"The culprit attacked the system on November 18 and diverted the funds of four customers to the tune of 2.5 crores between 6 am and 9 am, even before the bank working hours," said an officer, explaining the modus operandi of the duo.
Surprised to see their customers’ cash being diverted to various other bank accounts, bank officials knocked at the commissioner’s doors at 11 am on November 18. The Chennai city cybercrime wing police swung into action and managed to retrieve 1 crore and initiated action to retrieve another 51 lahks parked in other banks. However, the fraudsters managed to transfer 1 crore to Nigeria by buying cryptocurrencies.
A cybercrime police team led by inspector Vinod Kumar arrested the two Nigerians who were found using 32 fake bank accounts in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland to transfer funds. They also buy cryptocurrencies using the stolen fund through a portal 'Binance'.
The two wanted Nigerians were living in a cramped room in Uttam Nagar paying a rent of 8,000. There are several thousand Nigerian nationals living in the Uttam Nagar area. Dubbed ‘night stalkers’, they roam around the city all through the night and return to their rooms around 7 am. They sleep till 2-3 pm and resume their ‘routine’, said an investigation officer. They open bank accounts and get SIM cards using forged documents.
Source: The Times of India