In what smacks of a filmy plot, a 47-year old Kerala based auditor was arrested from Thrissur district for amassing sum of Rs 5.2 crores for fraudulently using the email id of a member of Qatar’s royal family.
Police have identified the person to be Sunil Menon, who had worked in various countries in the Gulf, including Qatar.
The work tenure had been for more than 15 years.
He was however only recently arrested on the charges of duping Qatar’s Museum Authority by faking the email id of a royal.
According to the complaint received by Kerala police, the accused “hacked” the email id of Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who is the sister of Qatar’s ruling Emir and heads the Qatar Museum Authority.
The accused then used the fake email id generator app and emailed to the Qatar Museum.
In the email, he had asked it to provide money to American firm Jerome Napoleon, which he said had been asked to make portraits of the Qatar Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The police said that Sunil had found an app that lets a user send an email masking the real sender.
The app lets the receiver view the sender as one picked by the user, in this case, the sister of the Emir.
The mail directed the museum to transfer Rs 5.20 crore as advance payment to the account of the US firm. Then he replied from the fake id created in the name of Jerome Napoleon, the American firm.
Subsequently, another e-mail was sent from the mail ID of Sheikha to transfer the amount to the account of Sunil Menon. The museum authority did as directed in the mail.
Kerala police said that the fraud was detected after a member of the royal family, who is also a member of the museum’s governing body, had reasons to be suspicious.