A computer “genius” found himself behind bars in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 5, after fraudulently withdrawing Rs 472,000 in Vacoas. Pritam Horil, 41, withdrew almost half a million rupees in a card less transaction from a Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) ATM in the King Savers’ building on the corner of Carreau Laliane and Route Vacoas. The arrest of this resident of Barkly, Beau Bassin was made after a request from MCB hotline 8900 was made to the police. A team from Central Division’s Emergency Response Service (ERS) was dispatched to the ATM and proceeded to the location to apprehend the suspect. The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of Quatre Bornes, which was seized with the case, does not rule out the possibility of internal complicity.
Within minutes of the RHS headquarters in Vacoas receiving an emergency call from the MCB 8900 hotline at around 2.30 a.m. on Sunday November 5, two RHS officers from the Central Division, Pierre Louis and Jodhun, were alerted to a fraudulent transaction at an ATM in the King Savers’ building on the corner of Carreau Laliane and Route Vacoas.
Arriving at the bank, the two policemen found a man. The man was informed that he was suspected by the MCB of having committed wire fraud. After being informed of his rights and the charge against him, Pritam Horil was to declare, “mo finn tann dimoun dan metro dir couma tir kas lor atm mo finn esseye ek sa finn marse”.
With his consent, a body search was carried out and a large sum of money in various denominations, i.e. Rs 472,000, was found in his possession. Taken to the Quatre Bornes police station, he was confronted with this piece of evidence, and had to say, “samem sa bann larzan ki mo finn tire lor atm mcb kot King Savers'”.
The Barkly resident’s telephone was also used as evidence. The same day, he was brought before the Bail and Remand Court in Port-Louis, on a provisional charge of wire fraud. On Monday November 6, he was again brought before the Rose-Hill court on the same charge. He was subsequently returned to police custody.
The CID is awaiting Pritam Horil’s interrogation and deposition in order to move this investigation forward and understand the full mechanism of this fraud. Above all, we need to know how long this Card Less transaction has been going on.