Five held for credit card fraud

Five held for credit card fraud

The arrested are trust president Regina Seelan, treasurer Victor D’Souza, trustee Christy Solomon, secretary Thomas P Joseph and Selva Babu, proprietor, V-Cube Technologies, Chennai. Except Babu, the remaining are residents of Bangalore.

The suspects allegedly siphoned off Rs 15.68 crore in 995 fraudulent credit card transactions between July 1 and August 13, 2010. The victims were mostly from the US and other countries. The trust allegedly violated provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and used fake bank accounts to lure their victims to make donations.

Background
Regina and six others established Salve Regina Charitable Trust in March 2005 to take up programmes for the welfare of the disabled and elderly. The trust obtained exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act in 2007. It also obtained permission to accept contributions under FCRA in 2009 and opened a website (www.src-trust.org) to receive donations.

They approached the Merchants Services Wing of Standard Chartered Bank, Chennai, and applied for an e-commerce gateway facility (a facility to accept online payments through credit and debit cards from all over world) to receive foreign funds. The trust received Rs 15 lakh in 2009. The bank staff terminated the e-commerce gateway facility after they noticed the trust collected funds entirely from foreign credit cards and there were a large number of chargebacks on the foreign credit cards.

They opened another account with ICICI Merchant Service, Bangalore, availed e-commerce facility, collected 995 contributions amounting to Rs 15.68 crore between July 1 and August 13, 2010. The card holders in the US and other countries were charged for making the donations.

The fraud came to light when the card holders approached their respective banks and informed that they had not consented any of the donations and their money was withdrawn fraudulently. The banks in turn approached the ICICI. The CID took up the case after Maria Reuben, the authorised signatory, ICICI Bank Merchant Services, Bommanahalli, lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police. An amount of Rs two crore available with the trust was frozen immediately.

Police said the suspects made payments to certain websites and collected credit card details of card holders. They downloaded a software from www.hidemyip.com to commit the offence.

During the course of the investigation, the CID officers obtained IP addresses of the transactions and seven addresses were traced to India. Of the seven addresses, one was traced to Selva Babu, who had designed the website. Another address was traced to Regina Seelan, who had bought 11 properties in Bangalore using the money.
House burgled

Thieves broke into a house in Basaveshwarnagar 3rd Stage and fled with gold jewellery worth Rs five lakh.  Girish and his family went out at around 8.30 am on Thursday and returned around 10.30 am to find that 390 gram of gold ornaments worth Rs five lakh kept in the cupboard was missing and the back door was broken open.

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