FIVE ARRESTED, KINGPIN AT LARGE
DH News Service Bangalore:
Next time you plan to fly on an e-ticket, make sure it is booked by a genuine agent.
The Corps of Detectives (CoD) Cyber Crime Police have unearthed an airline e-ticketing racket in the city.
The racket came to light when a bank lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police about irregularities in e-ticketing system on Monday. The complaint comes close on the heels of similar cases reported in Delhi and Mumbai.
Five persons from Bangalore – Nadeem Ahmed, Nasirullah Khan, Shamsuddin, Safir Sayeed, Samiullah Khan alias Nayaz Ahmed – have been arrested in this connection. Two of them were involved in taking printouts of e-tickets, while the other three were courier boys who delivered them to customers.
Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, Mr K R Srinivasan, Director General of Police, CoD, revealed that the culprits generated e-tickets using faked credit card numbers and passwords. “The customers believed them and made payments in cash. When the original credit card owners’ denied buying air tickets, several banks who provided these services had to suffer losses to the tune of several lakhs of rupees,” he said.
Explaining their modus operandi, Mr Srinivasan said the desperados had managed to get a list of regular air travellers, whom they would approach and convince that they would book tickets at concessional rates. “The e-tickets would be delivered to the customer, who would submit it at the airline counter and collect genuine air tickets,” he explained.
Interrogation of the arrested failed to reveal any significant information about the racket as they were only at the tail end of it, he stated.
A search for the kingpin is currently on. Investigations are also being carried out to find out how the culprits laid hands on the credit card numbers and passwords.
Though the magnitude of the fake e-ticketing business is yet to be ascertained, preliminary reports from banks suggest an irregularity of Rs 22 lakh in 20 days, said Mr Srinivasan. During the verification of one flight departing from Bangalore, the CoD officers found at least 19 passengers travelling on fake e-tickets, he added.