Tamil Nadu

SBI ATM theft case to be handed over to CBI

The fraudsters targeted only cash deposit machines and used a single debit card.  

The investigation into cases of theft at SBI ATMs will be handed over to the CBI soon since it has inter-State ramifications.

The Chennai police have identified 38 persons allegedly involved in these thefts reported in Chennai, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi and Mumbai.

A senior police officer said, “We have unearthed the entire network of criminals who came down from Mewat and an adjoining area in Haryana, thanks to the efforts of special teams and the assistance of the Haryana police.”

“We first detected and arrested the accused in the cases although similar thefts were reported in other States. We have frozen all bank accounts that were known to us. The money trail is yet to be probed thoroughly. The bank has been advised to write to the CBI for a probe into it since it has inter-State ramifications,” the officer said.

The gang came from Haryana in cars, trains and by air to the city. Between June 15 and 18, they struck at SBI ATMs with cash deposit facility at 16 places in Chennai beginning with Velachery, Taramani and Valasaravakkam. Over ₹5 crore was lost by the bank in the novel thefts.

Immediately after bank authorities lodged complaints, the police on scrutiny of CCTV footage traced one of the accused used a rental bike and after collecting phone number left from the rental shop, the police caught Amir Arsh, 25, with the help of Haryana police. After combing two premises in Mewat, the city police arrested three others — Virender Rawat, Najim Hussain and Shaukath Ali.

The suspects knew the technical flaw in the machines and targeted those vulnerable machines. They used genuine debit and credit cards to steal the money from those ATMs. After inserting a card in the ATM, the machine dispensed cash and it was taken away by fraudsters after blocking the sensor signal for a few seconds. But the ATM’s software registered it as a failed transaction. As a result, the cash was drained from the ATM but the relevant account was not debited. The same technique was repeated in all ATMs which had cash deposit facilities, said the police. They used similar modus operandi and had withdrawn nearly more than ₹1 lakh to ₹2 lakh in one hour late in the night. The accused had used same ATM deposit machines to deposit looted money. They would then transfer the amount through digital wallet to different accounts.

The gang had struck at Tiruvannamalai, Hosur, and Vellore in Tamil Nadu.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 4:09:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sbi-atm-theft-case-to-be-handed-over-to-cbi/article35642624.ece

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