Thrissur city police on Saturday nabbed a four-member north Indian gang in connection with ATM fraud. The gang siphoned money from ATMs by manipulating censors in the machines.
Thrissur East Police Station Inspector P. Lal Kumar and team arrested Manoj Kumar, 55, Ajay Shankar, 33, Pankaj Pande, 25, and Pavan Singh of Kanpur, from Thrissur Railway station.
A complaint was lodged at the East Police by SBI bank officials about siphoning of money worth ₹1,50,000 in two days on November 9, and 12 from the SBI ATM near Aswini Junction.
During the investigation, the police got the visual of the fraudsters from CCTV cameras of the ATM. During the search with the visuals, the police nabbed them from Thrissur railway station. More than 100 ATM cards and ₹ 35,000 were seized from them.
Modus operandi of the gang was very clever, says Mr. Lal Kumar. Fraudsters will create bank accounts and take ATM cards. Small amounts will be deposited in these accounts. Then they will withdraw money from the ATM machines. At the time the machine delivers money, they will insert something in the censors and will make it defunct.
Though they will get the money, the ATM monitor will show the message that money can’t be delivered due to technical errors.
The fraudsters will complain to the customer care immediately saying they failed to get the money. According to the RBI rule, if the bank gets such complaints, it should give the money to the customer within three days. Thus, the bank will be forced to give money to them. By repeating the process, they will siphon huge money.
The police suspect that they had committed the fraud in many ATMs across the State. The police are also searching details of the bank account holders of the ATM cards seized from them. They have been remanded in judicial custody.