Bahawalpur police have arrested two men for cyber crime and cheating and seized counterfeit cheque books, bank stamps, computers and cash from their possession.
Kamran Khan, resident of Islampura, Shahi Bazar, and Waseem Ahmed, a resident of Maqbool Colony, were arrested following a complaint by a Bank of Punjab cashier that the two men tried to withdraw cash on a counterfeit pay order on Monday of Rs200,000. Complainant Faizullah Farooqui said that before Monday’s attempt, the suspects had withdrawn Rs800,000 on a fake voucher last Thursday. On Monday, he said, he doubted the authenticity of the voucher on finding it modified almost immediately after it was returned. He said the two men had taken away the voucher saying they wanted to check some details. “I took the voucher to the manager and when we returned they were gone,” he said.
District Police Officer Sohail Habib Tajik told a press conference on Tuesday that the two men had also confessed stealing credit card data and using the information for online transactions. The suspects, accompanying the DPO, told the media that they would cancel the transactions immediately afterwards and get the money deposited into their accounts. The police have yet to track down the bank accounts the suspects operated for the purpose. The suspects said they had been withdrawing the money without any delay.
The DPO said cyber crime experts from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been requested to assist the district police with the case. “The officials are expected to arrive on Wednesday (today) to examine the computers that have been seized from them,” he said. The DPO said police officials were not trained in operating the software installed on the computer through which the suspects hacked credit cards.
The DPO said the suspects had admitted to withdrawing cash on similar vouchers from a National Bank of Pakistan branch as well. He said some United Arab Emirates cell phone numbers were found in the equipment seized from the suspects. He said some of the cheque books and stamps dated back to 2010.
The DPO said the police were investigating whether or not the two men were part of a larger network. “They are trained in operating computers and online networks even though they are not very highly educated. One of them left school in 10th grade and the other even earlier,” he said.
The DPO said the FIR had been registered under Sections 483 (counterfeiting a trademark or property mark), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code. He said sections of Cyber Crime Ordinance might be added to the FIR after investigations of the FIA officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.
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