Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani
H.H. Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, waves to racegoers before talking his seat at Al Rayyan Racecourse on February 24, 2018 in Doha, Qatar.Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

A 47-year-old Kerala man has been arrested on charges of hacking the e-mail ID of Qatar royal family members and duping them of Rs 5.2 crore. The accused identified as Sunil Menon was arrested on Wednesday from Kochi in Kerala.  

The accused had been working in Qatar and other countries for the past 15 years, The Times of India reported. According to the police complaint, Menon had made an offer to Qatar Museum Authority to sell a gold-plated painting of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is the current Amir of Qatar.

Menon hacked the e-mail ID of Sheikha Al-Mayassa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who is the sister of Qatar's ruling Amir and serves as the chairperson of Qatar Museums, and sent a mail to the museum stating they have made a deal with an American dealer named Jerome Napoleon to buy the gold-plated painting and directed the museum to pay Rs 5.20 crore as advance to him.

He used her e-mail ID to send another mail asking the authorities to transfer money to the account of Sunil Menon and they followed the order. But the IT experts of the museum's analysis team smelled something suspicious and after investigating found out that Napoleon's ID was fake.

Irinjalakuda ACP Famous Varghese told TOI that Shafeek, who has been working with the museum's financial analysis unit in Kozhikode, filed a complaint following which police froze Sunil's fixed deposit of Rs 4.50 crore. They also seized his jeep and recovered Rs 1.50 lakh cash.

Menon was arrested on Wednesday when he tried to flee the country. He will be produced in court on Thursday, the report suggested.