Ikpa Stephen Orji, a Nigerian based in Noida, a city in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, has been arrested by the Indian police for his involvement in the hacking of several Mahesh Bank accounts and swindling customers of close to Rs.12.48 crore, which is an equivalent of $1.6 million (N665,152,000 at the current exchange rate).
Twenty-three other persons, including four Nigerians, have also been arrested for their involvement in the fraud. According to Deccan Chronicle, a daily newspaper in India, the police had been on a two-month manhunt for Orji.
C.V Anand, the police commissioner investigating the fraud, said the police are now contemplating seeking Interpol’s help to nab other accused persons, who are believed to be operating from the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
Anand also made it known that servers linked to the hacking were showing United Kingdom and Nigerian IP addresses.
“The amount that is hacked is withdrawn and transferred, either by way of hawala or crypto currency,” Anand said.
“Money was transferred to 115 accounts of different banks and subsequently, to 398 different accounts.”
Cyber forensics revealed that hackers entered the system of AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank via phishing mails containing a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) sent to the bank employees on November 4, 10, and 16 of last year.
Because all systems in the bank are interconnected, the hackers were able to remotely access the core banking server, which they entered on the day of the actual hack, Anand said.
A trial date is yet to be set for Orji and his accomplices.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.