Billionaire Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry’s daughter loses money in cyber fraud

A cyber fraudster stole Rs 90,000 between June and July from the bank account of 62-year-old Laila Rustom Jehangir, one of the two daughters of billionaire Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, who owns one of the biggest business conglomerates Shapoorji Pallonji group. An FIR has been registered at Colaba police station.

According to Colaba police station, Laila, who resides in Dubai, had authorised her father Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry to manage the account on her behalf.

In 2018, Mistry authorised his company director Firoz Bhatena to look after all financial activities of Laila’s account. Bhatena, in turn, had entrusted the account to company’s deputy general manager (accounts) 60-year-old Jayesh Merchant.

Merchant’s mobile number was registered with the bank for SMS alerts on every transaction of Laila’s account, said Colaba police officials.

Since the account was quite old, transactions were done only through cheques, and no debit or credit card was issued by the bank for Laila’s bank account in question, added Colaba police official.

A police officer from Colaba police station said, “Jayesh Merchant, who registered the complaint, said that on July 1 and 2 he received SMS alerts of withdrawal of money from the account of Laila. When he checked with the bank he was informed that around Rs 90,000 were spent or withdrawn in multiple transactions using a debit card in June/July months.” A copy of Merchant’s complaint is with Hindustan Times.

“Merchant, who told the bank manager that there was no debit card issued on this account, was in for a shock when he was informed that a debit card was issued in the name of company director Bhatena in 2018, and the card was couriered to the company’s Colaba office. The same debit card was used to withdraw money. Merchant told Bhatena about the development who told him that he was not aware of any debit card being issued, following which a complaint was given,” added the officer.

The police in its preliminary investigation have found that the card was used multiple times, once at one Lucky Restaurant, and once at a cake shop New Arife Lamoulde. Police would be checking the CCTV at these places and also make inquiries to trace the card user, said the police officer.

An FIR has been registered under section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and 66C (identity theft) and 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of Information Technology Act against an unidentified suspect.

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