Axis Bank
Govt allows 74% foreign investment in Axis Bank. Picture: An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai.Reuters

The cyber crime branch police in Bengaluru arrested seven persons on Tuesday for allegedly hacking the wallet apps of Axis Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) and siphoning off Rs 25 lakh from nine accounts. 

The accused allegedly bought duplicate SIM cards of customers' mobile numbers registered with the bank and transferred the money from the customers' accounts to their own mobile wallet using Axis' LIME and SBI's Buddy mobile apps, The Economic Times reported.

CID IGP Hemanth Nimbalkar said that the police suspected the gang conned more victims and were continuing the investigation.

The police arrested Gopalakrishna, a 30-year-old deputy manager of Axis Bank's Peddapalli branch in Telangana's Karimnagar district. Additionally, 23-year-old G Veerabrahman, 27-year-old CK Ramana and Nageshwara Reddy from Karimnagar, 33-year-old CS Kiran, his 35-year-old sister CS Padmaja and 30-year-old N Ramesh from Srinivasapura in Kolar were also arrested.

While Gopalakrishna acquired details of the accounts of Axis Bank customers in Karnataka, Nageshwara Reddy and Veerabrahmam obtained fake SIM cards.

The scam was busted in December last year when several Axis bank account holders from Karnataka's Mysore and Tumakuru regions filed police complaints about missing amounts from their accounts.

A retired chairman and MD of National Hydro Electric Power Corporation S R Narasimhan was among the complainants. He had filed a complaint with Bengaluru's cyber crime police on 29 December, 2015, alleging that his account was hacked and Rs 1,80,375 was debited from his account, The Indian Express reported.

Similar cases have emerged in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the police said. 

"The investigation has revealed that the gang also hacked the SBI Buddy application and transferred money. Some cases in this connection have been registered in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They also committed similar offences in Tamil Nadu. We have shared information about the gang with our counterparts," the IE quoted a police officer as saying.