In a shocking incident, cyber-criminals have allegedly siphoned off Rs 7.79 crore from the current account of Kangra Co-operative Bank, which is maintained by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The fraudulent activities unfolded over three consecutive days, with the initial unauthorized transaction occurring on April 19, 2023.

Given the bank’s close financial supervision by the RBI and the fact that the compromised account is held with the regulatory institution itself, senior officials are left perplexed by the cyber theft. Despite identifying the accounts to which the funds were transferred, the bank has been unable to determine the culprits responsible for withdrawing the funds through deceptive transactions.

The RBI typically sends a daily email statement to the bank, detailing all transactions made in the settlement account throughout the day. Kangra Bank officials then reconcile this statement, with any remaining balance being returned to the current account from the settlement account.

It was on April 20, 2023, that Kangra Bank officials discovered something unusual when they received the RBI’s statement for the transactions conducted on April 19. The officials realized that a significant amount, totalling over Rs 3.14 crore, was not transferred from the settlement account to the current account, prompting suspicion.

The bank promptly reported the discrepancy to relevant authorities but could not determine the cause behind the substantial mismatch. To their dismay, similar anomalies occurred over the following two days, resulting in the current account receiving over Rs 2.40 crore and over Rs 2.23 crore less from the settlement account, respectively. As a result, the cumulative suspected fraud amount reached a staggering Rs 7.79 crore.

According to the complaint lodged by Kangra Bank, the institution informed the concerned departments of the RBI and other financial security organizations. Additionally, they identified accounts held with other banks into which the fraudulently obtained funds were transferred. However, the individuals responsible for executing the fraudulent transactions remain unidentified.

The Delhi Police, currently investigating the case, suspects that the accused persons may have engaged in cyber hacking or tampering, as they seem to be unfamiliar to the bank. As the investigation continues, authorities are working diligently to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of financial systems.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.