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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

₹1.5-crore bank fraud: Five land in police net in Ludhiana

 56 fake debit cards and ₹11,000 recovered; 70 victims identified

chandigarh Updated: Oct 22, 2019 22:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Hindustantimes
         

Five members of an automated teller machine (ATM) fraud gang, who had stolen ₹1.5 crore from bank accounts of people in the past two years, were arrested here on Monday night. Police have recovered 56 fake debit cards and ₹11,000 from their possession. The accused used to withdraw cash from accounts of bank customers after swapping their debit cards with fake ones.

According to police, 70 victims of the gang have been identified.

The accused are Rohit Sama, 37, of Jain Colony of Daba; Rajesh Kumar, 24, of Makkar Colony of Giaspura; Visakha Singh, 30, of Dehlon; Shankar Kumar, 27, and Shubham Randhawa, 20, of Mohalla Hargobind Nagar of Giaspura. Rohit Sama is kingpin of the gang.

Commissioner of police Rakesh Agrawal said the accused were planning to break open an ATM installed in Sherpur and had collected tools for the task.

The police chief added, “The accused used to stand around ATM kiosks sans security guards. They used to look for easy targets – including migrant labourers, elderly people and women, who are not tech-savvy mostly.”

“The accused, impersonating as Good Samaritan, used to offer help to bank customers in withdrawing cash, after getting information about the pin number, they used to swap their debit cards with fake ones and later withdraw cash from their accounts,” he said.

Agrawal said, “The accused had procured debit cards of all banks and colours which they used to swap with their targets.”

SINGER-TURNED CRIMINAL

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP, detective) Simratpal Singh Dhindsa said, “The accused are drug addicts and started duping people to meet their need for money to buy drugs. Rohit Sama was a singer and used to sing in religious gatherings, while Rajesh and Shubham were labourers. Visakha worked at a welding shop in Daba and Shankar was a school van driver. Visakha Singh is already facing trial in a theft case.”

Dhindsa added the accused were active in several areas, including Giaspura, Eastman Chowk, Dhandari, Sherpur market, Delhi Road, Veer Palace, Chandigarh Road, Jodhewal Chowk and Cheema Chowk.

A case under Sections 399 (making preparation to commit dacoity) and 402 (assembling for purpose of committing dacoity) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the accused persons at the Moti Nagar police station.

More important information is expected from the accused during questioning, police said.