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Card cloning case: Mumbai cops arrest man who provided swipe machines to gang

Nallasopara resident Pratap Rai is the mastermind, say police.

mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2018 13:34 IST
Manish Pathak
Manish Pathak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,card cloning,credit card
The gang is believed to have duped around 1,000 foreign nationals of more than Rs30 crore by cloning their debit and credit cards.(SHUTTERSTOCK)

The property cell of the Mumbai crime branch arrested one more accused from Nallasopara on Friday who provided swiping machines to alleged mastermind Zuber Sayyad in the card cloning racket. Sayyad along with other accused allegedly duped around 1,000 foreign nationalsby cloning their debit and credit cards and withdrew more than Rs30 crore since 2013.

The arrested accused has been identified as Pratap Rai, 45, a Nallasopara resident who was earlier arrested by cyber police in 2014 in a debit and credit card cloning case. Police said Rai used to take a five per cent cut and his job was to convince shopkeepers and provide swap machines to Sayyad. Rai was also given another job, to collect cash from shopkeepers, said a crime branch official, adding that Rai had provided six swap machines that were used to swap cloned cards of foreign nationals at tourist places.

Rai was produced in court and remanded in police custody till June 26. Other four suspects who were arrested along with Sayyad on Thursday have been identified as Hasan Shaikh, 40, Fahim Shora, 30, Abu Bakar, 45, and Mukesh Sharma, 45, and they will be in police custody till June 25.

“Several police teams have been formed and a few teams are going to tourist places like Kullu Manali, Rajasthan, Goa and others across the country to question shopkeepers who provided swap machines to the accused and took 20 to 30 per cent cuts of the withdrawn amount from the foreigners’ debit cards,” said an official. “As of now, we have arrested six accused and many more will be arrested in the case,” said deputy commissioner of police Dilip Sawant of the crime branch.

Explaining the gang’s modus operandi, the official said that the accused members would at first procure bank data of foreign nationals with the help of bank employees. Using the details, they cloned their credit or debit cards with the help of card readers.

They then visited shops that foreign nationals frequented in tourist places such as Goa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat. There, they convinced shopkeepers to get card swiping machines, offering them a 20 per cent to 30 per cent cut on each transaction.

The gang members would then get the machines home and swipe the cloned cards on it. They would do so mostly at the time of bank closing, so even if card holders got transaction alerts, they could at most inform the customer care to block the cards, but not the transaction. The swiped amount would enter the shopkeepers’ accounts. The accused would give the shopkeepers their share and take the rest of the money.

A crime branch official said Pratap Rai had collected from shopkeepers the money that was credited in their account after giving them their cut. He would also take his five per cent cut, the official said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 13:33 IST