The international cell of the Kerala Crime Branch has brought a Romanian to Thiruvananthapuram from Nicaragua in connection with a 2016 ATM heist, State Police Chief Loknath Behra said. He said the Romanian was picked up by the Nicaraguan authorities following alerts by the Interpol.
Behra told reporters on Saturday that a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM heist was done in Thiruvananthapuram on August 8, 2016, by a gang of five Romanian nationals. The Romanian nationals tampered with the SBI ATM using duplicate ATM cards and withdrew Rs 2.50 lakh.
"While one Romanian national was arrested then, the others managed to escape. We took the help of the Interpol and we had shared the information of the four other Romanian nationals. Our officers went to Nicaragua and have brought Alexandro. We have now managed to track out the two others who were part of the gang out of which one of them is based now in Germany and the other in the UK. We have shared all the information with these countries and are expecting that once they are arrested there, by the local authorities, they will be tried there using our case history or if they can be brought here, we will bring them down. We are confident of tracking the fifth accused also," said Behra.
Soon after the fraud was detected, the police got into action and arrested one of them and since then was on the lookout for the rest of the gang who were all identified from their passports, which they had submitted while checking into a hotel.
"This case has got the award from Nasscom for being the best probed cyber case and our officials who took part in the investigation were also awarded for their efforts. Now, the state police also will reward them for their hard work," added Behra.
The case was cracked after stateās Special Investigation Team obtained CCTV video from the SBI ATM at Althara Junction near Vellayambalam, where all the fraudulent transactions were carried out. The video showed three people attaching an electronic device at the ATM counter, enabling the fraudsters to collect the PIN code and card details.
The device that was fixed above the ATM machine, had a micro camera and another device was placed in the card slot of the machine. According to the police, the micro camera might have helped in getting the ATM PINs.