A hacker in the guise of a journalist duped several erstwhile royals of crores of rupees after hacking into the email account of one of the royals from Jamnagar.
Gujarat crime branch — which is investigating the case — on Saturday arrested a youth in whose account the money was transferred from across the country. The youth, however, according to the police does not appear to be the real beneficiary.
A man — identified as Santosh Jain, who posed himself as a news reporter — is believed to be the kingpin. He is still at large and the hunt is on to nab him. He hacked into the email account of Harshika Kumari, a Jamnagar royal family member, and sent panic mails to her friends, all of royal lineage, asking for monetary assistance. The mail stated that Kumari had lost her wallet and was trapped in Paris along with her sister, who was sick and undergoing treatment. A financial aid of £2,500 was asked from everyone the mail was sent to. One of such mails went to her friend Siddharth Singh — a former royal from Rajasthan — who instead of depositing the money checked up with the family asking the exact situation. It was only then the Jamnagar family realised that Kumari’s account was hacked.
Subsequently, the matter was reported to the Gujarat police, which transferred the case to the crime branch. During investigation, it was found that the money was sought into an ICICI bank account opened in Jabalpur in the name of Sourabh Patel.
The police immediately got in touch with Jabalpur police, who did the needful and picked Patel from his residence on Saturday. However, during interrogation, it was found that Patel was a computer operator working under Jain. The account, he said, was opened at Jain’s behest and was being operated by the latter.
On being asked about the case, station head officer (SHO) of Graha police station Bharat Singh Rajput confirmed the incident. He said: “Gujarat crime branch cops has taken Patel’s custody and left for their state”.
According to him, several crores of rupees were transferred to the account. Rajput was, however, unable to give further details as the matter was with the Gujarat crime branch.
The account was opened in March last year.