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Credit card scam has international links

Accused were using data of foreign credit card users, which they bought from Nigerian touts, to make purchases in city.

mumbai Updated: May 10, 2012 00:58 IST
Puja Changoiwala
Puja Changoiwala
Hindustan Times

The fake credit card racket that the police have busted in Borivli involves Nigerian touts who have exploited credit card users from across the world. The accused would obtain user data through Nigerian touts, the police said.

“Using the details of international users [on magnetic strips of fake cards] is better as 90% of the Indian users have a credit limit of not over Rs 50,000. With international users, the accused could make larger purchases with a single credit card as in this case,” said Pradip Raorane, assistant inspector of Kasturba Marg police station in Borivli (east), where the case was registered.

The police said the accused would pay a fixed amount to the touts for the data, which the touts obtained by liaising with local waiters and shopkeepers across countries.

“After obtaining the details, the accused would emboss the details on the reel of videotapes. They would then stick the embossed reel on cards,” said Raorane.

The scam came to light after a group of seven men made purchases worth Rs 5.08 lakh from a Metro Cash and Carry on March 29 and 30 using two credit cards. On April 13, the store filed a police complaint after the bank did not transfer the amount.

Here, the card details were of people from Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai.

After learning that the credit cards used were fake, the police sifted through the store’s CCTV footage and spotted Hukumsingh Rao, who has 42 cases of cheating against him across India. He is now the main accused in the case, and the police are on the lookout for him.

Two of the accused were arrested after the police received a tip-off that Rao’s brother-in-law, Shravansingh Rao, was to arrive at Rao’s flat in Mira Road. On Tuesday, after interrogating Shravansingh, they arrested another accused, Devanand Maruti Kokni, from Kurla. “We have seized goods worth Rs 2.25 lakh from the duo,” said Raorane.

The duo was produced before court on Wednesday and has been remanded in police custody till May 11.

The accused, the police said, would sell the purchased goods to local shopkeepers at 20% discount by spinning a yarn that they were to open a shop but had to scrap the plan because of an emergency back home.

The police said Rao operates largely from Rajasthan. “We suspect he has an apparatus there to manufacture fake cards. A team is going to Rajasthan on Thursday,” said Raorane.

Apart from Rao, four others are wanted in the case.

First Published: May 10, 2012 00:57 IST