CROOK IN THE NET
Date of Publishing:11/11/2010
Kolkata: It’s a difference of hardly 40 seconds but it cost Jet airways Rs 2.09 crore in a year, thanks to a cyber-smart fraudster, say police. Fortyyear-old Mukesh Kishanpuria, a garments businessman with a knack for computers, was arrested on Wednesday when he was on his way to court to seek anticipatory bail.
Mukesh, say police, hit upon the idea of double cancellation of tickets to get two times the refund.
The fraud was detected during audit for the financial year 2008-2009. Jet officials found lakhs upon lakhs missing and an internal inquiry revealed that the airline had refunded double the amount for several cancelled tickets. Realising that a gang of cyber experts was at work, Jet lodged a complaint with Shakespeare Sarani police station and the case was handed to the cyber crime unit of Kolkata Police.
As the investigation picked up the cyber trail, detectives were stunned by the ingenuity of the crime. The modus operandi was unique. “Fifteen credit cards of different banks were used in all these fraud transactions,” said an investigator. Six of the cards were in the name of Mukesh Bajaj, three in the name of his mother Taramony and the rest belonged to his sister Nirmala.
"We spoke to Taramony and Nirmala who said they had never even used any credit card. But Mukesh remained elusive and we suspected that he was the key man behind the fraud," said an investigator.
Police got in touch with cyber experts to understand the modus operandi. What Mukesh had done was simple. He somehow discovered that it takes about 40 seconds for information to pass from a Jet Airways computer terminal to the mainframe. "All these tickets were purchased online and then cancelled. Mukesh would sit with a latop or PC while his aide would be at a Jet counter to cancel the ticket manually. He would finish the formalities online and wait with the mouse hovering on the 'cancel' button. The moment his aide completed the cancellation over the counter and the Jet executive clicked on the cancel button, he would beep Mukesh who would hit the OK button to complete a double cancellation," said a sleuth.
This way, the fraudsters used to get double refund against a single ticket and siphoned Rs 2.09 crore from Jet Airways, say police.
Detectives eventually tracked down Mukesh and found him to be garment businessman Mukesh Kishanpuria, who has a shop in Balmukund Makkar Lane in central Kolkata and an office on British Indian Street. "Mukesh has been remanded in police custody. We are looking for his aides," said joint CP, crime, Damayanti Sen.
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