Mumbai

Inter-State card cloning racket busted in Mumbra, two held

Thane Crime Branch officials display cloned debit and credit cards, fake Aadhaar and PAN cards, cell phones and a fake driving licence seized on Friday

Thane Crime Branch officials display cloned debit and credit cards, fake Aadhaar and PAN cards, cell phones and a fake driving licence seized on Friday   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

Accused would provide skimmers to waiters, accomplices

The Thane Police Crime Branch has arrested a Mumbra resident who is alleged to have made crores of rupees through an inter-State card cloning racket.

According to officers, the lid was blown off the racket after the Central Unit of the Crime Branch received a tip-off that Shahbaz Khatri (30) has been running the racket for several years.

“We picked up Mr. Khatri from his Mumbra residence on Tuesday and seized two Aadhaar cards and two PAN cards made in different names, along with several cloned ATM cards and three skimmer devices. We placed him under arrest and started interrogating him in order to gauge the scope of the racket,” an officer said.

The officer said that over the last three days, Mr. Khatri has revealed that he has a countrywide network of accomplices who work as waiters in restaurants and other commercial establishments.

“Mr. Khatri provided them skimmer machines, which copy the data from a debit or credit card’s magnetic strip. This data can later be pasted on dummy cards, enabling the accused to withdraw money from the victims’ accounts. A preliminary examination of a laptop seized from Mr. Khatri indicates that he has cloned 15,000 cards till date,” the officer said.

Sources said Mr. Khatri was also booked for a similar offence by the Parksite police in Mumbai last year, and has also confessed to having run a similar racket in Dubai in the past, the details of which the police are still obtaining. Based on Mr. Khatri’s interrogation, the Crime Branch on Thursday arrested his accomplice, Keshav Magta, and seized three more skimmer devices from him.

“Inquiries indicate that Mr. Khatri has been running these rackets since 2007, and we suspect that he is behind a large number of offences registered with various police stations in Thane and Mumbai. We are seeking details of all such cases registered over the last few years so that we can find out how many of them are connected to him,” the officer said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 4:22:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/inter-state-card-cloning-racket-busted-in-mumbra-two-held/article29238188.ece

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