Axis Bank dy manager, aides 'siphon off' Rs 1.8L from ex-NHPC chief's a/c

Axis Bank dy manager, aides 'siphon off' Rs 1.8L from ex-NHPC chief's a/c

 A deputy manager of Axis Bank is one of the seven men arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for siphoning off Rs 1.8 lakh from the account of a former chairman and managing director of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) using a mobile wallet app.

Narasimhan, a retired chief of the NHPC, lodged a complaint at the CID’s cyber crime police station that Rs 1.8 lakh was debited from his Axis Bank account through 17 fraudulent transactions on the intervening night of December 4 and 5, 2015. Just before that, his Vodafone mobile phone service was closed. Narasimhan also found his phone number changed from prepaid to postpaid.

Investigation led the sleuths to G Gopikrishna, a deputy manager at Axis Bank’s Peddapalli branch in Karimnagar district, Telangana. The sleuths learnt that Gopikrishna had leaked the bank account details of people in Karnataka who maintained a large balance. Nageshwar Reddy, one of the main suspects, received these details. He, along with another suspect G Veerabrahman, zeroed in on bank accounts with large balance.

The gang took the phone numbers of the account holders and obtained duplicate SIM cards by fabricating documents. Four others, N Ramesh, C S Kiran, C S Padmaja and C K Ramana, helped them get more than 100 duplicate SIM cards.

The suspects changed Narasimhan’s phone service to postpaid. Then, using Axis Bank’s wallet app Lime, they transferred money to various phone numbers. They also withdrew Rs 1.8 lakh from Axis bank ATMs.

Apart from  this, they hacked the State Bank of India’s mobile wallet app ‘Buddy’ and siphoned off money from several accounts, a senior police officer said. The CID suspects that the gang was involved in similar offences reported from across the country. The suspects have been booked in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other states.

“We have shared the information with our counterparts in other states and are investigating if more people are involved in the racket. We are also considering taking action against telecom service providers for not verifying the documents before issuing duplicate SIM cards,” the officer added.

Axis Bank has stopped operating the Lime wallet after the matter was brought to its notice, the officer said.

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