Delhi Police grapple hard to resolve ‘mandate fraud’ cases

Delhi Police have stumbled upon ‘mandate fraud’ cases for the first time and three complaints have been registered with the Economic Offences Wing in the past six months. The three cases have left the investigators so helpless that no FIR could yet be registered in connection with any of them, said a police source on Thursday.

In 2012, the UK-based National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre defined: “Mandate fraud is when someone gets you to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to, for <g data-gr-id="33">example</g> a subscription or membership organisation or your business supplier.”

In all the three complaints registered at the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police, the accused have targeted exporters with the siphoned-off money being stashed at banks in the UK. 

The frauds hacked accounts of either the exporters or the buyers. Then they altered the bank account details (for money transfer) in the invoices sent/received, said the police source.

In the first of the three cases, a Delhi-based exporter who was supposed to receive money from a buyer in Brazil was targeted. The invoices were altered and the due amount of around $89,000 (around Rs 56.63 lakh) was entirely redirected to a branch of the National Westminster Bank, popularly known as NatWest.

“In this case, the investigation went as far tracking of the IP address, and the fraud allegedly emerged to have happened from Nigeria. But later, due to technical impediments and absence of treaties regarding information sharing, the investigation got <g data-gr-id="34">blocked .</g>In other cases, the fraudsters were found to have used proxy servers,” the source added.

Guernsey’s £2.6 m mandate fraud case was probably the biggest ‘mandate fraud’ case reported till date. 

The money was paid out to people posing as Lagan Construction, the contractor working on Guernsey’s airport project. Later, a 34-year-old man was arrested by the police. 
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