On Thursday, the Jharkhand police nabbed two fraudsters, namely, Noor Hassan and Mohammad Iftekhar who were accused of duping people to the tune of ₹52 lacs by urging them to donate to a fake website in the name of PM Cares Relief Fund.
The incident came to light after Sujit Kumar Singh, the manager of the Punjab National Bank (Big Bazaar Branch), and Amit Kumar, the manager of the Union Bank (Annada Chowk branch) separately lodged complaints against the account holders at the Sadar police station in Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. While Amit has alleged cyber fraud of ₹17 lacs, Sujit has claimed fraud of ₹34.8 lacs.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the account holders are real brothers who had fraudulently collected ₹52,58,442.26 through the fake website with the URL www.pmcarerelieffund.com. The branch manager of the Union Bank said that the name of the account holder was written as “PM Care” in the website while the original name of the account holder was Noor Hasan Gram Lache in the bank records.
The account (519102010958743) was opened online on December 26, 2019. The account had received ₹17 lacs deposits that have now been withdrawn. Another account (519102010958743) was opened in the Punjab National Bank by Mohammad Iftekhar Gram Lache on January 13, 2020, and this account was also listed as the account of ‘PM Cares’ on the fake website. Deposits to the tune of ₹34 lacs were made to this account for charity by people who mistook it for the original account of PM Cares Fund.
During the inquiry, one Parmeshwar Sau has been identified as the main leader. The cops raided the house of Sau and recovered several documents including bank passbooks, checkbooks, and ATM cards. The ring leader is currently on the run from the law enforcement authorities while the other two have been sent to JP Jail. The fake website has been taken offiline now.
Arrested Hassan and Ifthekar had claimed Parmeshwar Sau had opened their accounts in both the banks and kept their passbook with him. They revealed that Sau was behind this cyber fraud. The two accused were given a certain sum of money by the ring leader. The cops are of the view that the arrest of the Sau will shed light on the number of people who were involved in this cybercrime.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has given way to fraudsters to make quick money. Several cases of people creating UPI IDs with names similar to PM Cares were seen days after the PM CARES fund was opened by PM Modi. Earlier, Food and Drug Administration of Maharashtra raided a factory alleged of making fake hand sanitisers in Vakola area of Mumbai. As per reports, the ‘sanitizers’ didn’t have proper anti-bacterial particles which make the solution disinfectant. The factory had reportedly started operations 8 days back and had neither licence nor batch number. These were reportedly sold for Rs 105 to Rs 180 per piece.