The Serum Institute of India was duped of Rs 1 crore by an unidentified fraudster who allegedly posed as the company’s chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.
The incident occurred after one of the directors, Satish Deshpande, received a WhatsApp message from the fraudster asking him to transfer money to a few bank accounts, according to the police.
Believing that the message was from Poonawalla, the company’s finance department transferred Rs 1.01 crore in different transactions between September 7 and September 8.
They, however, later realised that Poonawalla had made no such request.
“After realising that Adar Poonawalla had never asked for such transfers or sent messages, the finance manager of SII [Serum Institute of India] made a written complaint in Bundgarden police station,” an unidentified police officer said, according to Business Standard.
Based on the complaint, a first information report was filed under Indian Penal Code Section 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections under the Information Technology Act.
“Efforts are on to identify and nab those who sent the WhatsApp message and the holders of the bank accounts to which the money was transferred,” the official said.