After a week-long probe, the Kozhikode Rural police have arrested two engineering graduates who allegedly tapped the debit card details of many customers using skimmers at different ATM counters and exchanged it with a gang of fraudsters from North India.
P.K. Jubair of Villiappally and M.K. Shibin of Kayakkodi were arrested by a special investigation squad led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Moosa Vallikkadan on Wednesday.
It was the first time that locals suspected of colluding with kingpins in banking frauds were being arrested in the district. It would be a turning point in similar investigations, said the police. They said the special squad had secured clear evidence about the visit of a three-member group from North India to meet Jubair and Shibin to plan the theft. According to the officers, the group was in the district between February 10 and February 16. Their details were collected after visiting a lodge in Vadakara.
Officers part of the investigation said the two youths from the district allegedly used skimmers to get the debit card details of customers and exchanged it for a commission. Customers who visited the Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India ATMs near the Vadakara bus stand were the main victims. Since March 23, the police had received more than 10 complaints in which the customers claimed to have lost money from their bank accounts.
Following the arrest, the police asked the ATM cardholders in Vadakara to change their PIN for safety reasons. They have intensified the probe for tracing the three persons who reportedly withdrew the amount using the tapped card details.