The Central Crime Branch police on Friday arrested a Sri Lankan national for allegedly using fake credit cards to cheat shopkeepers across Tamil Nadu to the tune of Rs. 50 lakh. The suspect Umesh alias Jaatti (25), a Marine Engineer settled in Canada, was apprehended by a special team at Porur when he was going to T. Nagar on a motorcycle.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (CCB) C. Sridhar, the team led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police D. Kanthasamy and Inspector E. Kanagaraj was formed to investigate the confessions of one of the accused persons already arrested in a fake credit card case. At least 24 fake credit cards, embosser machine, laptop and other gadgets used to make the fake credit cards were seized from Umesh’s house in Porur.

The modus operandi of the suspect was to procure blank credit cards of various banks from Malaysia. He would get data stolen with the help of skimmers from the magnetic strips of original credit cards and emboss them onto the blank cards. In most of the cases, the data stolen was from customers who paid bills at restaurants and malls in Canada.

Umesh would print a name of his choice on the credit cards with a photograph and even prepare a fake PAN Card or Driving Licence to make it appear genuine. “He had four agents who would go around shopping with the fake credit cards. One of them was arrested recently. The fraud has been committed in Chennai, Madurai and Tiruchi. We suspect that the amount cheated could easily cross Rs. 1 crore. He has so far circulated about 150 fake credit cards in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Sridhar said.

The accused was produced in a city court and remanded to judicial custody. A search was on for others involved in the racket, CCB sources added.

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