Mumbai, Sept. 13: A young woman pursuing a chartered accountancy course has been booked for allegedly hacking into the online income tax account of Anil Ambani, apparently curious to know his income and the taxes he paid.
The 21-year-old woman, doing her articleship with her uncle’s firm in Hyderabad, came under the scanner after the ADAG chairman’s office received emails from the income tax department, saying that the password of Ambani’s e-filing account had been changed twice.
The cyber cell of Mumbai police has booked the woman under the stringent Information Technology Act. If proved guilty, she could face a jail term of up to three years.
“It is a clear case of hacking into the e-returns account of a person. We have seized the server of the computer from which the account was hacked and have collected all technical and physical evidence against her. We have lodged a case and interrogated her. We will soon arrest her and bring her to Mumbai,” Mukund Pawar, the head of the cyber crime cell of Mumbai police, said.
The woman was booked on September 7 after nearly two months of investigation on a complaint from Ambani’s office in July.
On June 26, Nilesh Doshi, who looks after Ambani’s tax details, received an email from the income tax department, mentioning that the password of the industrialist’s e-returns account had been changed.
Doshi, who works at Ambani’s Reliance Centre corporate office in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate, replied to the email, stating that no password change had been requested.
A fortnight later, Doshi received another email from the department, saying the password had been changed again.
Suspecting corporate espionage, senior ADAG officials lodged a complaint with crime branch chief and joint commissioner (crime) Himanshu Roy.
The cyber crime cell tracked down the computer from where the account had been hacked to Manoj Daga & Company, a tax firm based in Chikkadpally, Hyderabad.
Firm owner Manoj Daga told the police he was unaware of the crime as he was not in Hyderabad because of his father’s death.
Questioning the firm’s employees, the police came to know that apart from Daga, the computer server was accessed by his niece, the daughter of his cousin, who is doing her final-year CA articleship with the firm.
Pawar and his team seized the server and interrogated the woman, whose name has been withheld by the police. The police said she had confessed to the crime.
“She told us she was curious about Anil Ambani’s income and how much tax he pays. She said she had no other intention,” Pawar said.