2 more caught in high-profile data theft imbroglio

The fresh arrests were made in Hyderabad; earlier, Marathi actor’s son Rohan Mankani was arrested

In the high-profile cyber-crime case of leaking confidential data that was revealed days ago, embroiling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker Rohan Mankani, Pune police have made two fresh arrests, namely of Laxminarayan Guttu (32) and Venkatesh Subramaniam Upala (40) from Hyderabad.

Four other accused, including Mankani, Anagha Modak, Rajesh Sharma, and Paramjit Sandhu, were already arrested in connection with the case earlier this week.

It has emerged that Guttu sent information to Hyderabad resident Rajshekhar Mumidi (34) via WhatsApp about two bank account details. One account has a balance of Rs 25, while the other has a balance of Rs 3 crore, and came under the scanner for suspicious transactions.

Police are now investigating how bank account data was collected and whether any other employees of the bank concerned are involved. Cops have also collected mobile call recordings between Anagha, who works as a stock broker, and the other accused.

The investigation revealed that Mankani, Modak, Sharma, and Sandhu had a long meeting at Hotel Saffron in Navi Peth between March 10 and 12. CCTV footage of the hotel and receipts of their food bills have been retrieved by city police.

Police also recovered seven hard disks and a tablet after searching Modak’s house and office.

Both banks in this case have submitted detailed information about the respective accounts (one in ICICI Bank and three accounts of HDFC Bank) to police. It was learned that the accounts contained a combined sum of Rs 209 crore.

A laptop has been seized from the house of accused Ravindra Mashalkar in Latur and it is being investigated whether any online transactions were done with it. When quizzed by police about confidential data of the dormant account, the accused apparently gave vague answers and did not cooperate with the investigation. It has come to light that accused Mashalkar, Mukesh More, Atmaram Kadam and Varun Verma are working in Gurgaon in a reputed company responsible for storing confidential bank account data.

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Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of the economic offences wing (EOW), Bhagyashri Navatake, confirmed, “In this data theft case, two more accused were arrested from the Hyderabad and have been remanded in police custody till Monday as ordered by the court.”

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