Ukrainian National Held for Global Computer Hacking

New Delhi
Ukrainian National Held for Global Computer Hacking
A Ukrainian national, wanted by the United States of America in connection with a case of global computer hacking and credit card fraud ring, was arrested in the capital soon after his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International airport, officials said today.

Sergey V Storchak, holding Ukrainian passport AX-332255, was taken into custody by the CISF from the aircraft on May 8 when he arrived here on a Jetlite flight S2-120 from Goa and handed over to police. He was to leave for Istanbul early next morning.

He was produced before a magistrate on May 9 and sent to judicial custody till May 22.

A statement from the Central Bureau of Investigation said that his arrest was particularly significant as his extradition and prosecution would have been very unlikely if he reached his final destination of Ukraine.

"The concerned officials of US Embassy in New Delhi have been suitably briefed as per Extradition Treaty for procurement of 'Extradition Documents' so that Ministry of External Affairs could set up the Extradition Court," the statement said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued a look out circular on Storchak who, along with ten others, was accused of stealing and selling more than four crore credit and debit card numbers and the gang's operations spanned the US, eastern Europe and Asia.

A criminal case was filed in the US against Storchak and others for conspiracy to traffic in unauthorised access devices. The US agencies, which pegged the losses to be over USD 1.7 crore, found over 16,000 stolen card numbers from the email of Storchak.

The US agency had informed the CBI about Storchak's presence in the country and that he was likely to reach the capital from Goa, officials said.

"The CBI along with Delhi Police and FBI officials waited at the terminal, while a team of CISF officials went inside the aircraft, escorted Storchak out and handed him over to CBI," a senior CISF official said.

Storchak had boarded the Jetlite flight from Goa at 6.45 pm on May 8 and was scheduled to reach Delhi at 10.55 pm.

He was identified with the help of a photo provided by the FBI, which was handed over to the CISF personnel.

Eleven people from US and China and three from former Soviet Republics were allegedly involved in what was dubbed as the largest hacking and identity theft by the US justice department.

They allegedly stole more than four crore credit and debit card numbers and sold them to criminals in the US and Europe. The department had charged them with conspiracy, computer intrusion, internet fraud and identity theft.

According to US documents, the gang drove close to US retail stores in search of wireless internet connections on which they installed "sniffer" software that would record card numbers.

After this, they allegedly sold the numbers over the internet to individuals who encoded them on blank credit cards and withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time from cash machines.

One of the affected companies, British retail chain TK Maxx, had earlier reported to have admitted that information from 45.7 million credit and debit cards on both sides of the Atlantic had been stolen.

According to US court documents, three persons Sergey Pavlovich (Belarus), Dzmitry Burak and Storchak (both Ukraine) used a website on which credit card traffickers bought and sold data.
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