The Hyderabad city police on Monday busted an interstate gang who were indulging in ATM frauds and duping several banks. Authorities arrested five accused in the case and said that they recovered 31 debit cards from their possession, besides Rs 22,000 in cash.
The accused have been identified as Akhlaq Ahmed (23), Muntheej (19) Tofik (28), Tasleem (20) and Sakir Mohammed (23). The police said that Tasleem and Sakir hailed from Rajasthan while the other accused hailed from Haryana.
“Though they are from different states, their villages are nearby. Three of the accused are ITI students and were having basic technical knowledge. They got habituated to bad vices and lavish lifestyle and to meet their expenses, planned to earn easy and quick money by using debit cards, thereby duping banks on technical lapses,” the police said in a press release.
Explaining their modus operandi, the police said that the accused generally spotted unmanned ATM centres with two people entering it at once. While one of the accused used his debit card to operate the ATM machine normally, the second accused would manipulate the machine as it was dispensing cash.
“Simultaneously, the first person covered the camera of ATM with one hand. After the second person creates a technical error, the first person takes out cash in a professional way such that nothing is caught in the cameras present in the room. Later he spends a few moments near the ATM and acts as if cash was not dispensed from the cash dispenser,” the police said.
Following this, the accused would lodge a complaint with the bank and say that they could not withdraw the cash from the ATM as their transaction failed. Bank officials would then check with the ATM, which would show that the transaction failed because of power interruption while dispensing cash. The bank would then reimburse the amount to the accused.
“The accused persons after withdrawing the cash through above process, immediately deposited the cash back into their accounts to avoid recovery if caught by police and also to operate the ATM again. Thus, the accused kept drawing the money and depositing it on a rotation basis,” the police said.
The accused were arrested and sent to judicial remand.