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Kerala's dumb email hoaxer's code trick boomerangs

Akbar Raj, who threatened the PM through his email, tried to get girl into trouble with misleading code.

October 30, 2006

Kerala cops caught Akbar Raj, the man who sent a threatening email by cracking the code he had left in his mail. The man thought that if he sent a threatening email, and threw what he thought was a brilliant code into it, the cops would spend time cracking it, decode it, follow the clues and go right to the girl who had given him the finger. Probably he hoped for a torture session for the girl too, considering the saintly reputation of the Kerala police in interrogating suspects.

He was too smart by half, and despite confusing the hell out of cops, his tactic did not work.

Left in the email text was this strange code -- F/26/04JUL1980/UnM/BTECH/TMEC/ENGG/

The cops could make out that BTECH meant Bachelor of Technology. ENGG was obviously Engineering - even cops have smart kids who manage to become engineers. Now what did the rest of it mean?

The cyber crime squad and Microsoft guys chipped in and filled in the rest. The code from beginning to end meant, Female, age 26, 4th July 1980 (probably a birthday), Unmarried, BTech, TMEC (this was a tough one probably), one IP address used by Wipro, Info Park, and the pincode 686609. With all that info in hand, cops managed to figure out that TMEC was 'Trikkakkara Model Engineering College'.

And who was this amazing terrorist, who had told the police everything about himself, wondered the cops. No terrorist in his senses would leave such a detailed trail all the way back to where he was working - even the cops could figure that out. Did the cops think that such a detailed trail was left so he could lure the cops into an ambush and go kaboom taking them with him? 

No such drama. The police very easily located the person with those details - and it was a she. The trail led to a bewildered 26-year old girl working in the Info Park in Kochi for Wipro. Once she came to know how the cops reached her, the girl put two and two together easily, and told the cops about Akbar Raj who used to harass her. Then it was a matter of time before the cops picked up Akbar Raj, who confessed to sending the email. The owner of the cybercafe from where he sent the emails recognised the suspect.

It was later discovered that both the girl and Akbar Raj had filed complaints against each other with the local police alleging harassment and threats. His parents say that he was depressed after the failure of his love affair, and was under psyhiatric treatment. Police are still interrogating Akbar Raj, and no hint of any connection to terrorist groups have emerged so far.


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