Accused allegedly pockets over Rs. 6 crore using stolen and cloned cards

Police on Saturday arrested a businessman who allegedly pocketed nearly Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 6 crore using cloned and stolen credit cards through the swiping machines of different banks he had fraudulently acquired.

Described as ‘local racket of cloned and stolen credit cards’, the fraud was masterminded and executed by Varun Sadh, 31, owning a sari shop in Secunderabad with the help of Jitender Agarwal, service manager of a Credit Card Swiping Machine company.

Along with the duo, two credit card sales executives M. Nani Babu and K. Raju, were also arrested, the Hyderabad Additional Commissioner of Crimes, Mohd. Ahsan Reza, told a press conference.

A skimming machine brought by Sadh from Thailand, 12 credit card swiping machines of different banks and a computer with printer were seized from them. By presenting fake documents he claimed that he had many cloth stores in the city though he had only one sari shop and obtained card swiping machines from different banks.

When a person with stolen credit approaches him, he would swipe the card in the machine for a certain amount. The amount would be debited from the account of the genuine card holder. Later, Sadh would reclaim the sum from the bank by presenting fake bills of purchase.

“For this, he would take five per cent commission for each transaction. Thus, if the card is swiped for Rs. 1 lakh he would get Rs. 5,000,” the Task Force (East) Inspector, R.G. Shiva Maruthi, who busted the gang, said. To make more money, he flew to Thailand two years ago and purchased a skimming machine using which code of a credit card can be copied and transferred onto an empty one creating a duplicate card. Slowly, the accused started cloning credit cards of customers purchasing saris in his shop and made money by swiping them.

Seventeen such cloned credit cards were seized from him. Babu and Raju abetted Sadh by securing credit cards in the names of others and giving them to him for swiping. The fraud came to light when a person received call from the bank that he had to clear dues on his credit card, which he never possessed. Inquiries by the bank revealed that Babu and Raju obtained card on the complainant’s name and misused it.

Tailpiece: Sadh created a record of sorts by cloning his own credit card and misusing it for false transactions. He later approached the bank concerned maintaining that someone defrauded him. “He even secured compensation of Rs. 1.8 lakh from the bank,” the police said.

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