Wednesday, December 3, 2008

e-ticketing fraudsters nabbed by Pune police

e-FRAUD : e-ticketing fraudsters nabbed by Pune police

By Subroto Roy



Pune police nab crooks who duped actor Amol Palekar of more than Rs 60,000

The e-booking system of air tickets has proved to be a costly affair for a number of credit card users in the country, including noted cine personality Amol Palekar. The actor, like many others has been charged for Rs 60,000 worth air tickets he never bought.

Palekar registered a case with the Pune police this February. Additional commissioner of police, crime (economic and cyber) Rajinder Singh told MiD DAY that his department has cracked the case. "We have trapped the criminals," he said.

A gang of three criminals had been apprehended by the crime branch (economic and cyber) of Pune city police last Thursday and produced before the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) Pune court.

Cyber criminals reportedly bought the credit card verification value (CVV) through their sources at petrol pumps, restaurants, hotels, malls, among other places where customers swipe their cards.

"They purchased air tickets through the e-system from Flight Raja, and Akbar Travels to travel to Goa, Bangalore and other destinations using stolen CVVs of credit card users," said assistant commissioner of police (ACP) crime, economic and cyber crime Rajendra Hadale.

ACP Hadale advises that the CVV needs to be kept a secret, as they can be copied and later sold to criminals.

Hadale said the three Hassan Iqbal Shaikh of Vasai, Rauss Adman Pareira and Nazneen Rauss Pareira alias Muskaan from Mira Road were trapped by the police. Rauss Pareira is an IT expert, while the other two were accomplices in the crime.

Investigating officer assistant police inspector Krantikumar Patil, who returned from Mumbai on Monday, said that it has been the trio's business for the last couple of years to steal CVVs and book air tickets to travel across the length and breadth of the country.

"They are unemployed and indulge themselves in flying from one city to the other using others' credit cards," Patil said.

Patil intercepted phone calls and Internet booking verification points and thus traced the accused.

Hadale said Palekar will be invited to the commissioner's office soon. "He has expressed a desire to hold a press conference in this regard," he said.

However, others who have been duped like Palekar will have to wait until further investigations are over.

Cyber criminals who used CVVs to defraud Palekar have used the same modus operandi in at least 10 other cities in the country amounting to Rs 10 lakh.

Inspectors Netaji Shinde and Prakash Lagad are conducting further to ascertain the exact total of the fraud the threesome has committed in India.

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