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“Will Return In 15 Mins”: Fake CBI Gang Cleans HDFC Account Of Rs 85 Lakh

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A retired senior executive of a multinational firm was coerced into paying Rs 85 lakh by a gang posing as CBI, customs, narcotics, and income-tax officers – all on Skype. A police case has been filed in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, which the fraud happened, and Delhi too.

The gang took the money by cheque, and transferred it to a company called ‘Rana Garments’, which operated an HDFC account in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar. According to the first information report (FIR) filed with the police in Visakhapatnam, the gang transferred the money from the HDFC account run by ‘Rana Garments’ to 105 accounts across India.

HDFC Bank’s Uttam Nagar branch has also filed a police complaint over fraud, the retired officer told NDTV.

“I had three years of service left, but took voluntary retirement as I needed time to prepare my son to send to college aboard. I got the retirement settlement on May 2. My son’s visa appointment was on May 17. But on May 14, I was duped by the gang into sending Rs 85 lakh, which they said would be returned after checking my records,” said the distraught 57-year-old retired associate general manager of a Germany-headquartered pharma firm with wide operations in India.

The Visakhapatnam Crime Branch has taken over the case. Police sources in the coastal city said the case is under investigation, and they have got some leads.

The retired officer alleged some insiders in the bank in Visakhapatnam may be involved, as the gang knew everything about his account including the exact amount that he got after retirement. “The gang told me to go to the nearest HDFC Bank and drop the cheque,” he told NDTV.

The cheque in the name of a company in Delhi, which the criminals used to send Rs 85 lakh to 105 accounts across India

The Crime Branch has taken several documents from the HDFC Bank branch in Visakhapatnam, he said, adding the bank declined to comment on the progress of the case when he met the bank officials.

“HDFC Bank said they are cooperating with the Crime Branch. I have also told the police, was no KYC (know your customer) done for Rana Garments by the Uttam Nagar (Delhi) branch? The police in Delhi went to Rana Garments and found the place was occupied by another company. The Rana Garments owner is untraceable,” the retired officer said.

According to the FIR, after the retirement savings got credited into the officer’s HDFC Bank account, he received a call from a man who identified himself as “DCP Cyber Crime Balsing Rajput”. He told the retired officer his name has come up on several narcotics and money laundering cases and his Aadhaar has been linked to all these cases.

The fake DCP then dialled another person who pretended to be his senior and asked if they should file an FIR against the retired man.

The gang used a fake ‘acknowledgement letter’

“I was under immense pressure and threatened by them that I would be jailed there and then. The fake DCP after speaking for a while with his fake boss said I look innocent, so they should take the Rs 85 lakh for investigation and return it to me if the police find nothing amiss,” the retired officer told NDTV. “My ‘interrogation’ on Skype went on for two days. They did not let me leave home or call anyone,” he said.

The retired officer was eventually made to deposit the cheque in the HDFC Bank branch in Visakhapatnam with a promise by the fake officers that it would be returned to him after verification.

On whether the police have been able to track down any of the 105 accounts of different banks to which the Rs 85 lakh was transferred from Rana Garments’ account, the retired officer said the police have declined to give him information about their findings so far.

The retired officer has warned people not to answer WhatsApp video calls from unknown numbers. “The fraud amount will shock you. In one month, the Visakhapatnam cyber police received complaints amounting to Rs 300 crore,” he alleged.

 A retired senior executive of a multinational firm was coerced into paying Rs 85 lakh by a gang posing as CBI, customs, and income-tax officers – all on Skype.    

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