K. Srinivas Reddy

Person from Chennai is the brain behind the international fraud

Police looking for the kingpin and two others

The gang had struck deals with business establishments

HYDERABAD: An international credit card fraud involving cloning of cards and using them for purchases and even withdrawal of money from bank accounts was busted by the police with the arrest of three persons here on Monday.

The police seized 85 cloned credit cards issued in different countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and several other South-East Asian nations, along with a skimmer used for cloning the cards from the three persons taken into custody from a lodge at Nampally here on Monday, Task Force DCP, V.B. Kamalasan Reddy, who led the raid team, said.

The kingpin of the racket, identified as Balakrishnan of Chennai, and his two accomplices are absconding.

The task force teams, which conducted routine checks on city lodges, stumbled upon Rajendra Laxman Swamy Bagal, a resident of Nasik in Maharashtra, Subramanyam Harish of Rajajinagar in Bangalore and Yerramshetty Nagaraj, another Chennai resident.

They were taken into custody after they were found to be in possession of cloned credit cards in large numbers. A laptop, fabricated identity proofs, photographs, nine mobile phones, a skimmer used for reading and writing credit card data and a car were seized from them.

The police said the six-member gang had struck deals with a few business establishments for payment of money after swiping the cards.

The businessman would get a ten per cent commission on the swiped amount. They had so far swiped cards to the tune of Rs.1.5 lakh.

Modus operandi

Explaining the modus operandi, Mr. Reddy said a net savvy Balakrishnan would get the credit card details, including the 14-digit bar code, from his contacts from Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and other South-East Asian countries. He would also procure blank credit cards and later paste logos and other details on them.

He would then transfer the credit card details obtained through his sources onto the cards using the skimmer. They would befriend shop assistants and make them partners in the fraud by promising them money for use of the cloned cards.

The police said Balakrishnan had gone along with his other two accomplices to Chennai to get more cloned credit cards.

The three arrested persons were being handed over to the local police along with the seized cards and other materials, for further investigation.

Efforts are on to nab Balakrishnan and two others.