Lucknow police bursts tax theft racket, arrests six hackers including 3 trade tax dept contractual staff

Cyber Crime team of Lucknow police nabbed six hackers involved in hacking Id and user passwords of traders and subsequently downloading Form 38 and ordering goods on the same thus duping the traders and sales tax department of lakhs of rupees. Interestingly, three of the accused nabbed by the police are contractual employees at the Sales Tax department.
The police have recovered 9 mobile phones, cash worth Rs 3.34 lakh, a two-wheeler and downloaded Form 38 from their possession. SSP Rajesh Pandey told media persons that Chandrakanta Tiles properitor Gopal Krishna had lodged an FIR at Aminabad police station that miscreants have ordered goods from other states on his firm’s Form 38. Interestingly, after the goods were delivered from other states, the Sales Tax department sent a notice to Krishna.
He was asked to deposit Rs 28 lakh as tax even when he had not ordered goods from anywhere.
Cyber Cell team was asked to probe into Krishna’s complaint, which during investigation came to know that traders’ user id and password on sales tax department’s website is known to many people.
The hackers used to created a fake email id and then used to download Form 38 and used to order for goods from other states. However, the traders were forced to pay tax on the fake orders received. The department also didn’t use to get tax of 14.5 per cent on goods received. However, when Cyber Cell investigated the case it came to know about contractual employees Sunil Kumar, a resident of Alambagh, Aman Verma, a resident of Cantonment area, Prabahtshanker, a resident of Kaiserbagh and their associates in crime Abhay Grover, a resident of Para, Vikas Nagar resident Pradeep Singh and Barabanki resident Gurpreet Singh. Besides, cash and mobiles, the police recovered 38 copies of Form 38 from their possession.
Modu operandi
The gang leader was identified as Sunil Kori and assisting commercial tax department officer Ajay Srivastava. Sunil was aware of commercial tax department’s server login and password. Sunil used to change the registerd email id of the traders and create a fake email id and a password. He then used to give the password to Aman, who used to pass on to Prabhatshanker who then used to pass it on to Pradeep. Pradeep then with the help of Abhay used to download form 38 of the traders.
The SSP said that more names could crop up as the investigation into the fraud was still on. On whether some sales tax officials were involved in the racket or not, the SSP said as of now it is first revealation more such are expected soon. The picture would be clear as the investigation would progress.
Contractual staff had Rs 13 lakh in bank account
Prabhatshanker started working with assistant commissioner sales tax only a few months back and was getting only Rs 3,000 per month. However, on scruitiny of his bank account, cyber cell team found an amount of Rs 13 lakh deposited in it. SSP has ordered Aminabad police to seize his bank account as the money in it was earned through the racket, Pandey further said. Accounts of others are also being checked. Until now the police have found that around 250 form 38 forms of traders were downloaded that hinted towards scam of crore of rupees.

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