Second accused in Vadakara ATM fraud case nabbed from U.P.

A special investigation squad of the Kozhikode Rural police on Monday arrested Tohid Khan, the second accused in the Vadakara ATM fraud case in which about 30 persons had lost their money. The police nabbed him from Uttar Pradesh after a three-month-long inquiry into the incident.

With this, four out of the five suspects in the banking fraud have been netted. The accused who is still at large is a north Indian youth who allegedly helped the other accused tap ATM card details using skimmers.

Police sources said it was the arrest of Sugeeth Varma, the prime accused in the case, from New Delhi that brought to light a clear picture about the inter-State fraud. He had received the technical support of two engineering graduates from Kozhikode’s Villiappally for securing and decoding skimmer data from various ATMs on payment of commission.

“It was on March 31 that the two local youths from Villiappally were arrested, making a breakthrough in the investigation. The two had maintained a close social media contact with the prime accused. Nearly ₹6 lakh had been withdrawn from various places using the tapped details of multiple bank accounts,” said an official from the Vadakara station. According to him, they had the ATM card details of over 100 persons from Kozhikode district.

The majority of complaints related to the illegal fund withdrawal took place between February and March this year. There were even students who lost their scholarship fund and other personal savings in the trickery. Noticing the strange spike in cases, the police and the banking authorities from Vadakara had requested account holders to reset their ATM PINs and online banking passwords for safety.

Some of the victims of the fraud said they got their money back following the intervention of higher officers in the banking sector. There were also a few bankers who refused to accept customers’ grievances and process refund requests on time, they added.

According to them, it was the poor surveillance measures in public sector bank ATM counters that helped fraudsters fix skimmers.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 11:37:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/second-accused-in-vadakara-atm-fraud-case-nabbed-from-up/article35018684.ece

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