The two accused in connection with the online fraud and theft of money from the bank accounts of a city-based doctor were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate and remanded in judicial custody on Monday.
Rohit Rabindra Bhole of Thane and Ashish Ashok Salve of Virar East, Thane, were arrested on Sunday. The City Police had made the initial breakthrough in this case by arresting the two from Hyderabad last week.
“The custody of these two has been sought. Only after their interrogation can we get enough leads to question Felix Ivdubuisi Egedigave of Nigeria, believed to the kingpin of the racket and presently at Alipore prison in West Bengal,” said D.S. Suneesh Babu, Circle Inspector, Town Central, who is the investigating officer.
Dr. Shabir Khan R. Rawther, consultant at Lakeshore Hospital, lost Rs.11,14,500 from his two Axis Bank accounts at Rajaji Road branch here, after the criminals moved the money to 22 bank accounts in nine States after fraudulently issuing a duplicate SIM of his Vodafone mobile connection. The crime was committed on March 30.
The Axis Bank account operated by Rohit Bhole was credited with Rs.31,000 on the same day and he withdrew the money accompanied by his friend Ashish Salve. They lodged a complaint with Mumbai Vasai Railway Police on a lost ATM card to cover up their crime.
Bhole is a hardware engineer with an IT firm in Thane and Salve is a production supervisor in a drug company at Boisar. The investigating team learnt that Salve had also made such withdrawals from different bank ATMs. Both of them were arrested on the basis of footage from the security cameras at ATMs and their mobile phone call records.
It was also learnt that out of the six accounts in Mumbai to which part of the pilfered fund was diverted, all except the two accounts operated by Bhole and Salve were created using fake addresses. These were based in Panvel, Kurla West and Andheri.
Another team of the City Police will soon leave for Mumbai for further probe. “This is a very complex network, as the agents have no link between themselves. Those in the lower level of the network do not even know those above them. This only makes the investigation tedious as we run into dead leads often,” said an official in the investigation team.