Business rivalry is not uncommon, but here is a trader who used a misleading email to inflict Rs. 40 lakh loss on his rival.

The accused Mohd. Ateeq Ahmed, from Sambhal of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the Cyberabad Cyber Crime officials on Monday. He and the complainant, Mohammed Anwar, also from the same village, were into procurement, supply and sale of animal horn powder used for making optical frames.

Anwar settled in Hyderabad nearly a decade ago. “He used to purchase raw material sometimes from Ahmed, but of late stopped transactions with the latter,” Cyber Crime Inspector M. Ravichandan Reddy said.

While Ahmed suffered losses in his trade, Anwar continued to prosper.

Ahmed managed to secure the address of a company based in Luxembourg which purchases the horn powder, created a fake email ID in the name of that company and sent a mail to Anwar stating that the company wanted nearly Rs. 30 lakh worth raw material.

Believing it to be a genuine order, Anwar sent the material through a private courier agency to Luxembourg. “He was shocked to receive a communication from the company saying that it had never placed such an order,” the Inspector said.

The powder reportedly gets damaged if not used within a specific period and the correspondence between the company and Anwar took two to three months. Meanwhile, the courier costs shot up as the company added charges for keeping it in the godown.

When the Cyber Crime sleuths approached him following a complaint from Anwar, the accused feigned innocence. However, the investigators seized the hard disc of his computer as the email received by the Hyderabad trader was traced to his IP address. Forensic experts confirmed that the email originated from Ahmed’s computer.

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