- The gang took away Tk20 lakh in three months, Tk456 from each account
- 6 members of the gang arrested
- Ring leader still at large
- Money was transacted through 67 Nagad agent numbers
An organised fraud gang has taken away the stipend money of 4,000 students from the Nagad accounts of their guardians.
The gang members, collecting the OTP numbers of the guardians' mobile banking accounts through trickery, transferred the stipend money to various Nagad agent accounts, according to police sources.
Police sources said introducing themselves as school headmasters or upazila education officers, members of the fraud gang used to call the parents of the students over mobile phones and take the OTP numbers of their Nagad accounts.
Using the secret OTP numbers, the gang members then transferred the stipend money from the parents' Nagad accounts to some specific agent accounts.
This way, using a total of 65 agent numbers or accounts, the gang has taken away Tk20 lakh from the parents of students.
According to sources, following suspicious transactions through an agent number, the Nagad authorities filed a case with Banani Police Station under the Digital Security Act on 2 April.
The Financial Crime Unit under the Cyber and Special Crimes section of the Metropolitan Detective Police then started investigating the case and unearthed the activities of the gang.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Crime Unit Mahidul Islam told The Business Standard, "DB police arrested three members of this fraudulent gang from Narsingdi in May last. During their interrogation, the police got information about the whole gang. On Friday, three more members of the gang were arrested in separate raids in Faridpur and Rangpur."
He said the gang members over the phone wanted to know whether they had received the Tk456 stipend. Once the guardian answered affirmatively, the fraudsters then informed that another Tk2,000 stipend will be sent.
"A message has been sent to your number. Give me that number (OTP), they used to tell the guardians. The guardians used to simply give the number. After getting the OTP number, the fraudsters immediately transferred the stipend money to their specified agent number," the police official added.
He further said in this way, the members of this gang have taken away large sums of money in the last few months. We think that parents need to be careful to avoid such frauds.
Sub-inspector Rezaul Karim, the investigating officer in the case, told TBS that six members of the gang had been arrested so far. "We also have information on the leader of the gang. Attempts are being made to arrest him," he added.
Asked how the gang members targeted the specific numbers of guardians, he said, "If we can arrest the main culprit, we will get more information. However, from the interrogation of the arrestees, we learnt that the gang has somehow obtained the list of students receiving stipends. We are investigating how they got the list."
How the money was distributed
Gang members Asadul Islam, Abubakkar Siddique and fugitive Sirajul lived in Rangpur. They used to transfer the money from mobile banking accounts of guardians to a specific agent number. Taking 30% commission from the money, they used to send it to the fraudsters Monir Mia, Kamrul Islam and Hasan Sheikh at Bhanga upazila in Faridpur. Taking 20% commission, they used to send the remaining 50% money to unknown accused.
SI Rezaul said the members of the gang used 67 Nagad agent numbers to distribute the money.