Air India losses $300,000 to Nigerian scammers

Air India’s New York office has become the latest high profile victim of cyber fraud. The publicly owned airline’s New York office reportedly transferred $300,000 to a Nigerian bank account.

The sum said to be meant for purchase of spare parts was supposed to be remitted to a US-based firm, Pratt & Whitney but instead the amount was sent to Nigeria.

The incident occured in June, 2017 but the airline has failed to get the $300,000 (NGN107,937,000) retrieved from the Nigerian bank account ever since.

“The officers involved in the lapse were never punished. They have in fact been allowed to rise in their career,” said an executive.
In response to an email query, Air India said the matter is currently under investigation
“It was a case of cyber fraud. The matter is being investigated,” an airline spokesperson said.
A large number of cyber frauds worldwide have been traced to Nigeria and Air India could have also fallen victim to it.

Air India has a large fleet of Boeing aircraft including B777s and Dreamliner that it flies to various destinations in the US and Europe. The local office in the US makes payments for various ancillary works.
It operates flights to San Francisco, New York and Newark in the US.
Some of the airline’s aircraft in India are grounded for want of spare parts. In the face of severe cash crunch, the airline has failed to put the grounded aircraft back into operation.

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