Was ONGC a victim of identity theft? Rs 197 crore at stake

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Mumbai, Oct 14: The cyber police in Mumbai have commenced investigations into one of the biggest cases of identity theft on the cyber space concerning the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

The sum involved in this case is to the tune of Rs 197 crore. In this case, an email id very similar to the official id of the ONGC was used to communicate with a Saudi firm which transferred money to the account of the identity thief.


The Saudi based client transferred a sum of around Rs 197 crore in separate installments. The email id which the ONGC used to communicate officially with the Saudi client was patel_dv@ongc.co.in.

However, the id patel_dv@ognc.co.in was used by the fraudster to communicate with the client.

Identity theft involving several crores of rupees:

The cyber police team in Mumbai probing the case has found that the Saudi client had sought 36,000 metric tones of Naptha and the same had been dispatched by the ONGC in the month of September. In the same month another consignment was sent by ONGC to the Saudi company.

When ONGC inquired with the Saudi firm about the payment of Rs 197 crore, they were told that it had already been made.

The Saudi firm also said that the payment was made to a different account according to the request made in the email.

When ONGC verified the email id that was used to communicate with the Saudi firm, they realized that the same had been changed slightly which led to client believing that it was the official id.

ONGC normally receives payments in its account in the State Bank of India. However in this case, the thief had instructed the Saudi firm to deposit the money in another bank. A complaint was immediately lodged by ONGC and the matter was referred to the cyber crime police.

Insider job:

The police suspect that it could well be an insider job. Someone was familiar with all the details regarding the official email id and also the firm.

They were aware the quantity of naptha the Saudi firm had sought and the manner in which the transaction takes place.

This Saudi firm is not a new client and who ever carried out this operation was aware of each and every detail.

The police who have registered an FIR under both the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act are probing the matter.

They will question several employees in the ONGC as well to pick up leads relating to the case.

OneIndia News

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