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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Man who duped ATM users, flew in out of Mumbai to avoid arrest, held

Police say Odisha resident Sambhav Acharya came to city twice a month to steal at ATMs

mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2018 00:14 IST
Aritra Hazra
Aritra Hazra
Hindustan Times
Police followed the accused when he came to Mumbai on August 28 and arrested him at a high-end hotel in Andheri.
Police followed the accused when he came to Mumbai on August 28 and arrested him at a high-end hotel in Andheri.(HT FILE)

A 28-year-old man has been arrested by the Sakinaka Police for allegedly duping scores of people across the western suburbs. According to the police, Sambhav Acharya is a resident of Odisha and would make round trips to Mumbai to dupe people. The accused would go to the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and con people by taking out money from their accounts.

“Acharya would hire a high-end rental car and move around the city in it. After zeroing in on an ATM cubicle with multiple machines, he would enter the ATM and then pretend to withdraw money from a kiosk. As soon as someone would enter the ATM, he would leave the kiosk so that the other person goes to the kiosk he was standing at. However, he would not leave the ATM. As soon as the person at the kiosk would swipe his card, Acharya would say it is not working, so that the person moves to the other machine,” said a police officer.

Acharya would take a look at the secret pin of the person who used that kiosk and as soon as the person would leave, he would enter the pin in the kiosk where the card was already swiped and withdraw money from the account.

Police are probing if the accused used any technique or specialised software to ensure victims are able to access two ATMs at the same time. They are also probing how the accused managed to override/extend the built-in waiting period inside ATMs.

“The accused had been committing crimes since May. He would come to the city twice a month,” said the officer. The officer further said that during investigation, it was revealed that Acharya has followed the same modus in cheating people from various areas in the western suburbs including Bandra, Santacruz, Borivli and Andheri. In Sakinaka, Acharya has two cases against him.

“We need to accumulate the total number of cases against him along the western suburbs. We also need to see whether all the people duped by Acharya have registered a formal police complaint. During interrogation, he revealed the other areas from where he duped people,” he said.

The police trapped Acharya after receiving a complaint from a person. They went to the said ATM in Sakinaka and checked the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of the area. Police spotted a rental car near the ATM and tracked the registration number of the car. After tracing the driver, the police derived Acharya’s mobile number through which the police traced the accused to Mumbai airport.

A team from the detection staff of Sakinaka police station was sent to the airport. They followed Acharya to high-end hotel in Andheri and nabbed him there.

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 01:41 IST