Aviation

Staffer cheats SpiceJet, books free flights

GURUGRAM: SpiceJet has filed a police complaint against an employee for allegedly creating fake credit shells, which the airline gives customers who cancel tickets, and using them to book free flight rides.

The FIR was registered against Nafees Ahmad at Udyog Vihar police station on January 1 on the recommendation of Manoj Kumar, the officer who headed the cybercrime team that conducted a preliminary inquiry.

An official spokesperson for Spicejet, which is headquartered in Gurgaon, said the complaint was filed two months ago but refused to share any more details.

In the complaint, the airline company has alleged its provision of credit shells — a mode of online credit given to a customer in case of ticket cancellation, to be utilised during a limited period in the future — was misused and fake shells made to fleece the company. There were no original transactions and cancellations, just credit shells created showing they had taken place.

Police said the suspect used old tickets, including cancelled ones, to create the credit shells in Spicejet’s virtual wallet and made 24 transactions in six months between January and July, 2016. Against the refund amounts, tickets were booked for travel between February and October the same year.

These shells were made for various amounts between Rs 4,000 and Rs 25,000, allegedly to benefit the suspect and his friends. In all, transactions worth Rs 2,66,305 were made during this period.

According to Kumar, since credit shells can be created only by the company, the suspicion is that this was an inside job. The investigating officer at Udyog Vihar police station, SHO Arjun Dev, said an FIR under Section 420 (cheating) of IPC and Section 66-C (identity theft) of the IT Act has been registered and police had started an investigation.

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