Surat Police Arrest Gang Of Six Involved In Credit Card Holder Fraud To Pay Rs 3.67 Crore Electricity Bills From Various Companies In Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab , Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh by taking OTP from them.
The police also froze 115 bank accounts with a balance of Rs 59. 93 lakh used by the accused.
According to police, a woman from the Katargam region in the town of Surat approached the police with a complaint of cheating by unidentified people who defrauded her of Rs 21,873 into her bank account. Following his complaint, on May 22, the police registered a cheating offense under Sections 406, 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 66 (D) of the Computer Law and launched an investigation.
The woman alleged in her complaint that on May 16, she received a call from the credit card company RBL (Ratnakar Bank). Sharing her credit card number and date of birth, the caller told her that she was entitled to three vouchers from the bank, for which she had to share a one-time password (OTP). The complainant shared the OTP she received with the appellant.
After some time, she found out that Rs 21,873 had been deducted from her credit card to pay the electricity bills of a consumer from the Torrent power company in the town of Surat and another bill from a DGVCL consumer in the city of Surat. She contacted the bank and became aware of the fraud.
Katargam Police and Surat Cybercrime launched an investigation and contacted the two consumers whose bills had been paid with the woman’s credit card using their consumer number. Both revealed that they paid the bill at the Vansh Bill collection center in Varachha and showed the payment receipt to the cops.
By interviewing Sandeep Navadiya, owner of the Vansh Bill collection center, police obtained details of various people involved in paying bills which ultimately led them to Veer Bhadrasinh Zala, a resident of Bhavnagar.
A police team reached Bhav-nagar and arrested Zala who confessed to depositing the amount in the bank account of a certain Jitendra aka Rahul Mandal who used to pay the bill by defrauding various credit card holders.
On June 1, Mandal was brought to Surat where, during his interrogation, he revealed that several people, notably from Vansh, were involved in the racketeering and got a certain percentage of the amount.
Police arrested six people identified as Veer Bhadrasinh Zhala (26), resident of Bhavnagar, Mehul Kukadia (28), resident of Katargam, Yash Bhuptani (24), resident of Amroli, Manish Bhuva ( 34 years old), a resident of Kagtargam (bill collector), Milan Chovatiya (22 years), a resident of Katargam, and Jitendra Mandal, a resident of Jamtara in Jharkhand.
Surat Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Tomar said: “The defendants had been involved in this racketeering for three months and they cheated with 2,200 credit cards. They would pay the bill amount using credit cards and share the money they collect from electricity consumers among themselves. The gang paid electricity bills to 2,245 customers worth Rs 3.65 crore across the country, including 2,113 from Gujarat, 113 from Punjab, 11 from Haryana, five from Rajasthan, two from Uttar Pradesh and one from Maharashtra. We froze 115 accounts of the accused in different banks with a balance of Rs 59.93 lakh. The leader of the gang is Jitendra Mandal who has dropped out of school.
Tomar added that six offenses were recorded in different police stations in Surat and one in a cyber cell in Ahmedabad by customers who were deceived. In Surat, all complainants are holders of a Ratnakar Bank credit card. “We are trying to collect more information… We want to call on people not to share OTP with an unknown person.”