Kerala man detained for cheating Qatar royal family

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Kozhikode : A 47-year old man was detained for hacking the e-mail id of a Qatar royal family member and illegally collected a sum of Rs 5.2 crore. The accused was arrested from coastal area of Kodungallur, Kerala on Wednesday. Irinjalakuda ACP Famous Varghese said Sunil Menon, the son of M Bhaskara Menon of Sree Narayanapuram. Menon had been working in various countries, including Qatar, for the past 15 years.

As per the complaint received by the police, the accused had offered to sell the gold-plated paintings of Qatar Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Qatar Museum Authority. He first hacked the e-mail ID of Sheikha Al-Mayassa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who is the sister of the Amir and heads the Qatar Museum Authority.

Memon used her e-mail ID and sent a mail to the museum saying that an agreement had been signed with an American Jerome Napoleon to sell the paintings of Amir to the museum. The mail also directed the museum to transfer Rs 5.20 crore as advance payment to the account of Napoleon. Consequently another e-mail was sent from her mail ID to transfer the amount to the account of Sunil Menon and museum authority did as it was told. However, IT experts from the museum’s financial analysis unit suspected the truthfulness of the email’s content. They also detected that Sunil had created a fake e-mail id in Napoleon’s name.

The ACP said that an employee of the financial analysis unit, Shafeek, had filed a complaint to Thrissur SP MK Pushkaran. Subsequently, police froze the fixed deposit of Rs 4.5 crore in Sunil’s name and held his jeep in the custody. Kodungallur CI Bijukumar, who led the investigation team said Rs 1.5 lakh was seized from Sunil in cash. The CI said the accused will be produced in court on Thursday.

Shafeek, who resides in Kozhikode, has been working with the museum for quite some time. Menon was arrested from Kochi when he tried to flee India.