Police investigating ‘Xpress Money’ transfer fraud

Police have launched a fraud investigation concerning the transfer of MVR388,000 (US $25,162) out of the Maldives after a service called ‘Xpress Money’ was alleged to have been hacked by thieves.

According to local newspapers, individuals are suspected of stealing the money by hacking into the Xpress Money website and transferring the funds overseas.

Xpress Money, which is operated in association with Maldives Post Limited (MPL), provides money transfer services to Pakistan, Bangladhesh, Nepal and the Philippines, according to Maldives Post Limited’s own website.

Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today (April 11) that a case had been filed with the police on April 8 regarding the transfer, which formed part of several investigations into fraudulent transfer payments.

Haneef said the police were now analyzing all the available data.

‘’Since it is a cybercrime case revealing more information at the time might interrupt the investigations,’’ he added.

‘’We are investigating this case along with the Moneygram [fraud] case.”

On March 26, the Maldives Police Service announced it was investigating a MVR49.9 (US$3.2 million) fraud case believed to have been impacted transfer organisation Moneygram.  Moneygram also operates in association with the Maldives Post service.

According to the Maldives Post website, MPL in association with Moneygram provide money transfer services to 39,000 locations in 150 countries around the world.

Haneef confirmed that so far no arrests have been made in connection with either the Xpress Money or Moneygram cases.

Cyber crime

As of December 24 last year, the Maldives Police Service (MPS) said it had received 61 reports of suspected cyber crime in 2012 – a second consecutive annual increase in such crimes since 2010.

Back in September the same year, the MPS announced it would be forming a special Cyber Policing Department.

Police stated at the time that three units will be operating under the new department, including the cyber crime investigation unit, cyber forensics unit and cyber security unit.