‘Banker helped hacker steal from 11 accounts’

‘Banker helped hacker steal from 11 accounts’

BHUBANESWAR: More revelations came to the fore in Balangir MGNREGA online fraud with cyber experts piecing together evidences to ascertain how alleged hacker Dharmendra Thakur shifted funds to fake accounts.

Official sources said Dharmendra opened 31 accounts in the names of fake beneficiaries at SBI (Patnagarh) with the help of banker Sujit Agrawal, who worked in customer service desk, to transfer funds from nrega.nic.in (web portal). He allegedly used his own thumb impressions in the account opening forms. The banker also helped him withdraw money from 11 accounts.

Additional superintendent of police (Balangir) Jugal Kishore Banoth said IT and thematic experts from panchayati raj department are assisting police in the probe. “Dharmendra had access to voter ID cards of several persons while working as a computer programmer at Belpada block office. He used these to open zero balance accounts in the SBI,” he said.

Dharmendra was fired from the block office about a year ago for alleged corrupt practices. He had knowledge of government’s e-transactions, police said.

The status of other 20 accounts is also being probed. “With cyber experts on work, more facts will come up. We may also be able to tell whether the hacker transferred funds from the official account opened in the name of Belpada block development officer,” said a senior police officer.

On Monday, police revealed that Dharmendra personally went to National Informatics Centre (NIC) in Bhubaneswar and used forged documents to obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). It is an electronic document essential for accessing nrega.nic.in and transferring funds. It is provided by the NIC for ensuring safety of government’s online transactions.

A team from NIC, Delhi, has also arrived in Balangir and it is likely to check whether Dharmendra manipulated the DSC or obtained a new one.


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