“The suspects used multiple cards to draw the money from the ATM machines,” Joint Commissioner of Police Narenthiran Nayar told TNM.

State Bank of India ATM in Tamil NaduRepresentative Image/ Wikimedia Commons/Surya Prakash.S.A.
news Crime Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 18:56

A suspect of the serial State Bank of India ATM thefts case in Chennai was nabbed by the police. The Chennai police made the suspect Aamir Arsh Alimuddin to demonstrate the modus operandi of their gang at an ATM. Joint Commissioner of Police Narenthiran Nayar and his team of officers brought Alimuddin to the SBI ATM at Choolai on Wednesday. The Police had also invited bank officials to watch the demonstration so they could take measures to prevent such thefts.

The gang had stolen nearly Rs 48 lakh from various SBI ATMs in the city. Alimuddin stole around Rs 15 lakh by withdrawing small sums of money in nearly 190 attempts; the other suspects stole the rest of the amount, the police noted. Elaborating on the theft, the police said that the gang covered the sensors while withdrawing the money.

The city police said that there are 10 suspects involved in the case. The city police have arrested three suspects in the case so far including Alimuddin. He was arrested from his hideout in Ballabgarh village near Faridabad in Haryana on June 23 and brought to Chennai. The second thief, Virendar Rawat was arrested on June 26, and a third suspect, Najim Hussain was arrested from Faridabad and brought to Chennai by air on June 29 night.

Joint Commissioner of Police Narenthiran Nayar told TNM that the suspects had identified a flaw within the withdrawal and deposit machine of SBI. "The suspects found a loophole in the machine's operating system which credits the money back into the account when the cash slot is kept open for more than 20 seconds. The suspects used multiple cards to draw the money from the ATM machines. This was demonstrated by one of the prime suspects. Other details are yet to be ascertained,” he said. 

All the suspects belong to villages from in and around Ballabgarh in the Haryana-Rajasthan belt, a police officer told IANS. He further said that all the gang members are educated and have swindled money from across the country. He said that Alimuddin is also an engineering graduate. Speaking further, the officer said in Tamil Nadu they have been operating as two gangs and were traced based on the number plate of the vehicle they arrived on.

Police said that the gang leader Sathakathullah Khan of Ballabgarh village came down to Tamil Nadu and targeted 19 SBI ATM and Cash Deposit Machines in the state. The gang was behind 9 ATM thefts in the city, police said.

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