•      Tue Sep 27 2022
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Police foil int’l racket that aimed to steal Rs 5 billion from Nepali banks



Kathmandu, Sept 25: Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD), Teku has revealed that a foreign national residing in India had been planning, for a considerable time, to steal over Rs 5 billion from various banks and financial institutions of Nepal via hacking.

Peter, also known as Kale, currently residing in Mumbai of India has been involved in masterminding a huge financial racket by using Nepali nationals, stated police. Twelve persons have been taken into custody for their alleged involvement in the case.

A special investigation team from MPCD arrested the persons from various areas within and outside Kathmandu Valley who were involved in stealing the money through the process of ‘credential hacking’ from various banks and financial institutions, including Agricultural Development Bank and Panas Remit, among others.

The arrestees have been sent to the Metropolitan Police Range for necessary investigation. They have been identified as Lawang Tamang (43) of Nuwakot; Sanjay Ghale of Kathmandu; Laxmi Lama Tamang (40), Nirmala Tamang (20), Nima Tamang (18), all from Rasuwa; Pushparaj Khadka (42) of Sarlahi; Bidyasagar Lamichhane (23) of Lamjung; Shravan Kumar Shrestha (38) Tanahun; Sunita Shrestha (32) of Bhaktapur; Shubankar Panja (30), permanent resident of Kolkata in India, currently residing in Tebahal, Kathmandu; Bijay Sah (22), and Chandara Bahadur Budha (45), both from Bhajani Municipality in Kailali district.

According to MPCD, the preliminary investigation indicates that a sum of Rs 47,396,000 was hacked from Agricultural Development Bank. Likewise, a sum of Rs 1,200,000 was stolen from Panas Remit in New Baneshwar. Further investigation is going on to determine the total amount hacked.

Police have also disclosed that Peter used to contact the Nepali nationals, call them to India for meetings, and then asked them to carry out the fraud in exchange of commission ranging from 15 to 35 per cent. Peter then made them send the remaining sum to India via hundi.

Police got the hint that something illegal was going on and they started investigation after staffers of Panas Remit contacted them stating that some suspicious transactions had taken place, on September 22.

It has been learnt that Rs 6 million had been collected six times from the financial institution by different people in one day. However, the sender was shown to be the same person, an employee of the company. This was an indication that someone had hacked the employee’s account to send the same sum of money multiple times. Following this, police began a full-fledged investigation.

According to police, the same mastermind also manipulated user-id and IP address of Agricultural Development Bank to transfer the aforementioned sum into the accounts of 11 persons. It is still unclear who assisted Peter in carrying out these transactions.

Further investigation into the case is going on.