CBI Techie Involved In Bitcoin-Based Tatkal Rail Tickets Scam Arrested!
Using his IRCTC experience, he devised a method to cheat the Tatkal system.
This is the perfect plot of a nail-biting thriller: A CBI techie who earlier worked with IRCTC creates a magical software which can book hundreds of tatkal tickets in seconds. He uses CBI’s resources to cheat the tatkal system and employs bitcoins to accept illegal payments.
Fortunately, that CBI techie has been arrested, and the scam has been revealed.
But, how did it happen?
Tatkal Rail Tickets Scam By CBI Techie
Ajay Garg, who is working as an assistant programmer with CBI, created a racket with his accomplice called Anil Gupta.
Ajay had joined CBI in 2012, having worked earlier with IRCTC between 2007 and 2011.
Using his IRCTC experience, he devised a method to cheat the Tatkal system, and using his high-end CBI resources, he created a software which can book hundreds of Tatkal tickets in a single click.
His front Anil Gupta used to sell this software to travel agents, who used to pay them a recurring payment for using this tool.
CBI has arrested both of them, along with Ajay Garg’s family members who used to channel illegal transactions using bitcoins, hawala and other means.
An official had admitted that fault lies in the Tatkal system, as he said,
“These vulnerabilities still exist in the IRCTC system that is why his software was able to dodge it for booking tickets of hundreds of passengers at one go,”
After getting information about this scam, CBI raided 14 locations across Mumbai, Delhi and Jaunpur, and recovered cash worth Rs 89 lakh, besides Rs 61 lakh worth of jewellery, 15 laptops, 15 hard-disks, 52 mobile phones, 24 SIM cards, 10 notebooks, 6 routers, 4 dongles and 19 pen drives.
CBI Director Alok Verma said,
“The case is in line with our policy of having a robust internal mechanism of ensuring probity and having a zero tolerance towards corruption,”
The Modus Operandi Of The Scam
Tatkal tickets open a day before the date of travel, and AC tickets can be booked at 10 AM; and non-AC tickets at 11 AM.
While normal passengers usually take 120 seconds to complete a tatkal booking, Ajay Garg’s software took just a single click to book hundreds of tatkal tickets.
First of all, the software filled all required details such as name, age etc beforehand and as soon as Tatkal bookings opened, it booked the tickets with a single click.
The software was able to bypass several steps in a single go: It bypassed IRCTC’s captcha requirement, bypassed bank’s OTP requirement for payment, and used thousands of US-based proxy servers to create thousands of fake IRCTC accounts which booked hundreds of tickets in a single go.
Ajay’s experience of IRCTC helped him to hack into the IRCTC server, and enable these bypasses easily.
As per Railways officials, the tickets generated were genuine, and no financial loss was incurred to the Railways. But genuine passengers who used to book tickets using the official ways were denied tickets, as this software literally stole all these tickets.
Now, we understand why tatkal tickets get sold out within seconds, and why some agents are able to give ‘guaranteed’ tatkal tickets.
Ajay and his team have been sent to CBI custody, as the names of travel agents who used this software are being extracted in interrogations.
We will keep you updated as more details come in..