An ATM gang that had looted an SBI ATM at Badhepally in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana has been busted by the Mahbubnagar district police. The gang’s members hail from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and have been involved in similar ATM thefts in north India. According to the gang’s members, they had planned to loot ATM machines across south India. Six out of the 7-member gang have been nabbed while one is still absconding.
On September 29, the members of the gang entered an SBI bank’s ATM centre at Badhepally. Using a gas cutting machine, they broke open the ATM and stole around Rs 41 lakh. A part of the loot was charred from the flames of the gas cutter used to cut open the ATM. Soon, a special team was formed to investigate the case and nab the accused.
While 40 blocked ATM cards were found in the possession of Sabir Khan, the main accused who has been named A1, 34 blocked ATM cards were found in A7 Sakib’s possession. Sabir Khan has 18 pending cases in total against him in Hyderabad, Haryana and Maharashtra. A2 Thalim Khan has five cases while A3 Jahid Khan has seven cases pending. A6 Syed Ahmed Ali, a resident of Hyderabad, has been named in 13 cases in Hyderabad.
The ATM cards, phones and money recovered from the accused
The members of the gang have been found to be part of several ATM card exchanging crimes in Delhi, Haryana etc. The gang cut open ATM machines with the help of Thalim Khan, a well-trained welder from Pune, who was also part of the gang. A5 Sakib got in touch with A7 Rahman, who is a resident of Hyderabad. The two had met at the Chanchalguda Central Prison while serving punishment for their earlier offences.
Based on the plan hatched, four of the gang members took a flight to Hyderabad and then met Hyderabad-based Rahman and Syed Ahmed Ali who provided the gang members with a Swift Dzire car, gas, oxygen cylinders, pipes etc. They carried out a recce at several ATMs and then decided to loot the SBI ATM at Signalgadda as it had a generator outside the ATM. The gang closed the shutters of the ATM and using a gas cutter, in a span of 7 minutes managed to lay their hands on the money and then escaped by lorries to their respective states.
The gas cutter and other equipment used by the accused
According to the police, similar to the modus operandi in this ATM loot, the members tried to connect with local criminals in other south Indian states as well so that they would provide the team with the required resources. The team would always cover their faces with face masks and they would first break the CCTV cameras present at the ATMs before proceeding to loot the money. The members would have already made a note of the camera positions through their detailed recce that was carried out before every crime.