The Chennai police nabbed three Bulgarians who allegedly used two ATM skimmer devices used to steal debit/credit card details during a valid account holderâ€™s ATM transaction. According to reports, the three men were arrested on Saturday after a hotel staff tipped the police off with vital information.
The three Bulgarian nationals, identified as Lyubomir Maksimov (33), Nicholai Katev (30) and Boris Valkov (30), had reached Chennai on July 13 and checked into a hotel on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR).
On Thursday, one of the men contacted the front desk of the hotel to help him open the safety locker in his room as he had forgotten the password to it. The front desk staff sent an engineer to their room to check the locker and open it. The engineer, who opened the locker, noticed bundles of Indian currency in the locker and alerted the hotel staff who then searched the room on Friday when the men were out.
During the search, the hotel staff also found other devices hidden in various places inside the room and alerted the Kannagi Nagar police. The police then instructed the hotel staff to lock the room and leave things undisturbed so as to not raise suspicions in the mind of the guests. When the three men returned to their room, the hotel staff alerted the police, who then held them.
On interrogating, the three said that they had reached Chennai with the debit and credit card information of foreign nationals and were planning to create fake cards here and withdraw money. The three have been remanded in police custody. The police also seized Rs 7.5 lakh in Indian currency, 13,000 US dollars, laptops and mobile phones.
Earlier in May, the Chennai police had nabbed two Bulgarian nationals from a lodge in Chemmenchery on OMR for card cloning, an illegal process of copying the credit or debit card information of a stolen card into a new card. The men were caught after they presented a plain white card for payment at the hotel where they were staying.