Karnataka Class 10 dropout dupes Amazon of Rs 1.3 crore

A Class 10 dropout employed with a courier agency defrauded Amazon of Rs 1.3 crore in a span of five months, allegedly by rigging the card payments made through a tab given by the e-commerce giant.
Darshan alias Dhruva, 25, also got his friends to order expensive products and “delivered” them without any transfer of money. Four youths have been arrested and products worth Rs 25 lakh seized from them. Among these are 21 smartphones, a laptop, an iPod and an Apple watch. Four bikes were also seized.

Police said the fraud unfolded between September 2017 and February 2018. In this period, Amazon received 4,604 orders from Chikkamagaluru city. All these products were delivered by Darshan, who works with Ekdanta courier company. Amazon has an agreement with Ekdanta for delivery of its products in the city and collection of payment.

While the modus operandi is not entirely clear, police said Darshan had tampered with the card payment system. SP K. Annamalai said that Darshan created a false payment alert at the time of swiping the card. “Amazon authorities came to know about this cheating at the time of their quarterly audit, which was conducted in February. They lodged a complaint with us. We have arrested four youths including Darshan. Two accused are absconding,” he said.

On March 8, Naveen Kumar, senior manager at Amazon, lodged a complaint with Basavanahalli police alleging that Darshan had cheated the company to the tune of Rs 1.3 crore. Amazon had given Darshan a digital tab to collect money from customers and update delivery-related information. The machine came with a card swiping unit. Police are looking into how Darshan managed to accept card payments and yet divert the money from Amazon.

“We suspect Darshan had tinkered with the tab and cheated the company by generating a false alert every time. To ascertain the modus operandi, we have sent the tab to the forensic lab,” the SP said. Police said they’d also found a few “customers” placing orders from false addresses.

The arrested are Punith, 19; Sachin Shetty, 18; and Anil Shetty, 24, all residents of Chikkamagaluru.