New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two conmen posing as its chief RK Shukla for allegedly threatening senior customs officers with registering a case against them, officials said on Friday.
According to the FIR, the alleged cheaters understood to have used two methods to give impression of CBI officers -- saving a mobile number as that of Shukla and using a phone software to spoof landline number of the agency.
One of the conmen had saved a number, which popped up on a spam filter app, as that of Shukla when a recipient picked the phone giving an impression that call is from the CBI Director, it said.
The imposters were staying at a four-star hotel in central Delhi from where they were arrested, officials said.
"In a swift operation, CBI arrested two conmen posing as senior officers of the agency. Searches were conducted in this regard. Further investigating is on," agency spokesperson Nitin Wakankar said.
This is the second such case in two months after a separate group of imposters posing as CBI officers threatened a Mumbai-based businesswoman in October about an ongoing inquiry against her using spoofed email address of the CBI.
In the latest case, the CBI has booked Haridwar resident Daksh Aggarwal and Puneet Pareek, a resident of upmarket Silver Arch apartments on Ferozshah Road here, for allegedly threatening senior customs officials with a CBI probe against them, the officials said.
According the FIR, the central board of indirect taxes and customs (Mumbai) is carrying out an inquiry against three companies, Nemani Steel Pvt Ltd, Sunita Developers Pvt Ltd and Great Town Trading Pvt Ltd.
On December 18, the investigating officer of the case, GST Superintendent Haresh Parecha, received a call from a number which popped up on a spam filter screen as that that of CBI Director Shukla, it said.
The caller allegedly threatened Parecha that CBI had received a complaint against him that he is blackmailing these companies and demanded case documents, it said.
"Source has further informed that the suspect person has stored the mobile number 90909-99999 as a senior officer of CBI to create an impression that the senior CBI officer is using the number," the FIR said.
Parecha sent a couple of Panchnama and other documents to the WhatsApp number believing it to be from the CBI boss.
The suspect again called the next day from a landline number 011-24360213 which is a number of the CBI, it said.
The CBI received information from sources that the landline number was spoofed by the imposter and a call was also made to Rajesh Sanan, Commissioner, CGST.
"It is pertinent to mention that telephone number 011-24360213 has been registered in the name of CBI, New Delhi," the FIR said.
The CBI received information that Pareek, on behalf of these three companies, engaged Aggarwal to threaten Parecha for which he has also promised to pay him Rs 30 lakh out of which Rs two lakh has already been paid, it said.