Three Romanians held for ATM card cloning, theft from over 1,920 bank accounts in Pune
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Three Romanians held for ATM card cloning, theft from over 1,920 bank accounts in Pune

As many as 25 foreign nationals were arrested for various crimes in Pune till December 18 as against 28 in the previous year.

pune Updated: Dec 22, 2017 15:22 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
(Centre) Ganesh Shinde, deputy commissioner of police, addressing the press.(HT Photo)

Three Romanian nationals were arrested by city police and sent to police custody for seven days for stealing money and credentials of over 1,920 bank account holders from Pune and other places.

The total number of foreign nationals arrested by Pune Police for various crimes went up to 25 till December 18 as against 28 in the entire year of 2016. Police has arrested individuals from various countries including Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Jordan and South Africa for different crimes.

The three were identified as Balan Floria Cristinel, 45, Lazar Alin Cresti, 22 and Irimia Dracosion, 26, according to Ganesh Shinde, deputy commissioner of police, zone-3.

“By the time we reached Bengaluru, they had moved to Vasai. So me and my team went to Vasai. While two of them had come to India on tourist visa in December, one of them was in India for some time. They are all holding valid tourist visas,” saidsenior police inspector Dayanand Dhome of Chatuhshrungi police station who arrested the three.

The Romanian trio used a card skimmer at Punjab National Bank's ATM at Pashan to steal bank credentials of 1,030 account holders, according to the police. Using the information, they made clones of a few cards and withdrew money from Bengaluru between December 11 and December 16 and from Vasai between December 18 and December 19, according to senior PI Dhome.

The three were found in possession of credentials of 890 other bank account holders from Pune and elsewhere from banks other than Punjab National Bank.The three men were withdrawing money from Bengaluru when they landed on the city police radar on December 15.

A unit of policemen were sent to Bengaluru, but the three men then moved to Vasai. Another unit of police was sent to Vasai to nab them and the unit in Bengaluru joined the unit in Vasai, according to DCP Shinde.

The theft came to light when the police were investigating a complaint filed by Mohammad Arif Azadhussain, bank manager at the Pashan branch of Punjab National Bank.

Money was being illegally withdrawn from various accounts through ATMs in Bengaluru starting on December 11, Azadhussain had submitted in his complaint. Based on the complaint, a case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 474, 477 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 43(a), 66, 66(c), 66(d) of the Information Technology Act, 2002 was registered at Chatuhshrungi police station.

The police are investigating the background of the three men to check how educated they are, how they travelled within the country, whether they are involved with anymore people and if they have stolen credentials of anymore people, said the police.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 15:20 IST