Eight arrested for hacking bank accounts using 'Nepali Keti' app

Published On: February 3, 2023 07:26 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 3: Police have apprehended eight people involved in withdrawing hundreds of thousands of rupees by hacking bank accounts using an app called 'Nepali Keti'. 

According to the police, the group of people used to get access to vital information of anyone who opened the app and then exploited the data to empty the bank accounts. 

Police arrested them on Friday after an intensive investigation based on a complaint filed by Hari Prasad Dhakal at the District Police Range, Lalitpur stating that his mobile banking account of NIC Asia Bank was hacked and Rs 400,000 stolen. Police investigation found that the group was also involved in stealing several million rupees from various bank accounts. 

According to forensic experts, the group has been found using the Android Package Kit (APK) file to spread the malicious app through WhatsApp. 

“An APK file is generally forwarded by someone and is not downloaded from the official Google store. This type of manual  installation is quite dangerous. The APK file is not tested by Android’s app store standard,” reads a warning issued by experts through social media. 

Many banks have reported incidents where customers have faced financial and data loss including password of their email, CIPS, mobile banking, eSewa and Khalti accounts, the warning adds.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Siddhi Bikram Shah at the District Police Range, Lalitpur, said that those arrested have been identified as Ajay Chaudhary, Raju Patel, Sahil Parvez, Dinesh Raut and Shiv Shankar Raut of Parsa, Rabina Chaudhary of Rautahat, Santosh Kunwar of Bara, Dilip Chaudhary of Saptari and Awadhesh Kumar of Bihar, India. They were arrested from various places in Kathmandu and Makwanpur.

Police said during a press conference that they recovered nine mobile phones, one laptop and five ATM cards from the accused. According to the police, further  investigation is underway in connection to the banking crime.

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