MBA dropout is the brain behind ATM card cloning in Punjab, five more held

Sumit used to collate the information collected by other members of his gang, and then used software to clone the cards, police said.

punjab Updated: Aug 17, 2018 11:00 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Mohali
punjab,punjab news,ATM card cloning
The accused in the custody of Punjab state cyber cell in Mohali. (HT Photo)

An MBA dropout, Sumit Kumar, arrested from Lucknow, is the brain behind card cloning after stealing card details of customers visiting BrewMaster, many of them HDFC and ICICI bank account holders.

Sources in the cyber cell said it was Sumit who provided card skimming devices to Saurab, an employee of BrewMaster, Phase 5, Mohali, who used them to clone debit cards of unwary customers.

Arrested by the Punjab state cyber cell on August 14, Sumit was produced before a court on Wednesday and remanded to police custody till August 18. Saurab is already in police remand.

The original source of the skimming devices is being investigated. They said Sumit was pursuing MBA, but had left the course after he got hooked on to cyber crime.

Sumit used to collate the information collected by other members of his gang, and then used software to clone the cards, police said.

Meanwhile, closing in on other members of Sumit’s gang, the state cyber police team have arrested four more persons — Mahesh from West Bengal, Karun Inderpal Singh from Agra, Rahul from Mumbai and Arun from Madhya Pradesh.

They were produced before a court on Thursday and remanded to police custody till August 18. 

Also read: ATM card cloning: Punjab Police zero in on Mohali brewery’s missing staffer

Brewery employee spilled the beans

Through initial investigation, police had suspected that it was at BrewMaster where cards of customers were cloned and used for withdrawal of lakhs of rupees from ATMs at Mohali and Kharar since August 3.

This had led them to zero in on BrewMaster employee Saurab who had been missing for weeks. He was eventually arrested from Varanasi on August 11.

His interrogation so far led police to make other arrests.

Accused looked for jobs as waiters

Police sources said the accused would find jobs as waiters at eateries, and then steal data and withdraw money from the accounts of the clients.

As per police, the gang worked in groups, and had their roles assigned.

Those working as waiters used to steal data, while other members of the gang would clone the debit and credit cards to withdraw money from ATMs.

“The accused were entrusted with collecting data and used to memorise PINs while swiping the customer’s card. The PIN was then used to withdraw money from ATMs in different cities across the country,” a police officer said.

“We have arrested six persons so far in connection with the card cloning cases. Sumit is the kingpin, while others work for him. Some of the gang members were also booked in 2015 in Thane, Maharashtra,” said Samarpal Singh, station house officer (SHO), cyber crime cell.

Also read: ATM card cloning: Guards were asleep at ATMs, SBI bank’s CCTV footage blurred, finds probe

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 10:57 IST