Police arrest bank hacker fugitiveThe gang had stolen around Rs48.5 million from the Lahan Branch of the Agriculture Development Bank and Panas Remittance.
A special team deployed by the Metropolitan Crime Division has arrested a fugitive accused of hacking into Agriculture Development Bank and siphoning off millions of rupees from the accounts there.
Dipak Nepal, 43, who had been on the run, was captured in Kathmandu on Friday. “We have already arrested 18 of his agents. There are four or five more people involved in this and we are searching for them,” said Senior Superintendent Sahakul Thapa, chief of the Metropolitan Crime Division.
“He had around Rs10 million hacked cash in his account. When he tried to withdraw from the account, the bank officials informed us and we arrested him,” said Thapa. “He has been sent to the Kathmandu District court for further action.”
The gang, according to police, was being operated by a man from India identified as Peter, alias Kaley.
“We are trying to arrest the main mastermind, Peter, in coordination with Interpol. However, we have not got much information about him,” said Thapa.
Between April and September 22, 2019, the gang stole Rs47.3 million from the Agriculture Development Bank and Rs1.2 million from Panas Remittance.
“The hacked amount used to be transferred in the Nepali agent’s bank account and later, the agents were found to be sending the money through hundi to Peter. Nepali agents were getting up to 35 percent in commissions for their work,” said Deputy Superintendent Mukesh Singh, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Crime Division.
Although the exact modus operandi was unclear, police officials suspect the hackers from Mumbai were using one of the malware variants in order to gather information and steal credentials, which were later used to plunder the bank accounts. In such cases, the malware not only stays hidden but camouflages itself as a legitimate bank security system. As a result, the heist goes unnoticed.
“The main mastermind had received millions in hacked cash from his Nepali agents before their arrest,” said Singh. “Although they were planning a heist of more than $50 million, their arrest has failed the plan. No case of such hacking has come to us since.”