On September 02, Nepal Police reportedly rounded up six Chinese nationals in Kathmandu for hacking the security system and withdrawing approximately millions of rupees from various ATM booths. In late August, four Chinese nationals were allegedly arrested for their involvement in the bride trafficking racket. They used to apparently lure girls and women from remote parts with the promise of providing jobs in China and then sell them off in an auction as part of the bride-buying practice. There were also reports that some smugglers from China used to smuggle gold from Tatopani border that used to join Nepal with China before the extensive damage caused by the 2015 earthquake.
Chinese criminals have supposedly shifted their attention from smuggling gold to hacking. A national news journalist in Nepal reportedly claimed that the security of Nepal's banking system is very fragile and the Chinese criminals are working into those loopholes to break into the system. In the disclosed hacking instances, the arrested ones are mainly Chinese. They, at first steal the source code and in some cases, they enter the codes into new ATM cards, after which they can use those cards as a normal client of the bank and withdraw cash.
Hemanta Malla, former head of Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal said, "The first and foremost thing is that the bank itself should be aware because we already have entered into the phase of a technological revolution. We have transformed banking into e-banking and we cannot step back from it."
She further added, "They (Chinese criminals) usually steal account details of foreign banks. After stealing it, they load the data at an ATM and the amount which they withdraw was from ATMs of Nepali banks. They only had used our banks as a gateway and the stolen money is not of Nepal, but are of foreign banks and this time they did it in a different way. At this time, they inducted a malware into the gateway used by 14 to 15 banks of Nepal for trying to break the communication."
The police had reportedly arrested a Chinese national Ming Xiang and recovered foreign currency. According to reports, the police had arrested another Chinese national with USD 50,000 from the Kerung port. The investigating police officers faced problems while solving a hacking case as they reportedly faced problems in communication. The Chinese criminals allegedly took advantage of the situation and tried to cover up themselves over the cases filed up against them. Despite the rising criminal incidents by Chinese nationals in Kathmandu the issue is yet to be taken to a higher level.
(With inputs from ANI)