A bank employee in Ghaziabad was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing Rs 1.3 crore from a farmer by duplicating his ATM card. The accused, Badri Narayan, allegedly helped a Union Bank of India (UBI) branch manager and an MBA graduate gain access to his savings. Police said only Rs 7 lakh of farmer Tayyab Khan’s money has been recovered so far.
“The gang is operated by Hakim, who allegedly involved several people, including bank employees, in the fraud. Prima facie, it appears that Hakim was an expert in monitoring people in the village who were not technologically equipped to keep track of their bank transactions. They would use defunct phone numbers and email IDs to pose as bank customers and withdraw their money. The assistant, Badri, helped obtain personal data. So far, four people have been arrested and two others are on the radar,” said Neeraj Jadaun, SP (Rural), Ghaziabad.
Police said the gang would mostly target farmers who had received large sums as compensation for their land. In this particular case, Khan had opened a bank account in UBI’s Dasna branch and provided a prepaid phone number along with an email ID for correspondence. But Khan eventually changed that number and the SIM was deactivated, police said.
Hakim informed Badri about this and ensured that a duplicate ATM linked to the old phone number was generated. The old phone number was also reactivated by the accused without Khan’s knowledge. Since Khan did not log into his email often and because his number was defunct, Khan was unaware of transactions made in his name.
The gang also involved Sunil Tiwari, an MBA graduate who worked with TCS and earned over Rs 1 lakh a month. He would speak to bank employees posing as the customer and use his communication skills to convince them to issue ATM cards. The accused then sent one of their accomplices to collect Khan’s card and the branch manager provided it. The manager, Pratibha Jain, and Tiwari were arrested earlier. Badri was Pratibha’s assistant while she worked at the Dasna branch and helped issue Khan’s card to another accused, Sunil Mandal, police said.
“It appears to be a planned nexus. The scope of our investigation also includes mobile company officials,” said Jadaun.