ATM card fraud: 2 Romanians convicted, another accused on the run
Kolkata: Two Romanian nationals have been awarded six months of simple imprisonment and a fine worth Rs 40,000. Another accused is still on the run and a look-out notice has been issued.
According to the police, on April 10, Chief Manager of Punjab National Bank, Brabourne Road branch, lodged a complaint at Hare Street police station that a skimming device was fixed at their branch's ATM kiosk to copy the card details of those who visited the facility. Officials of the Kolkata Police's Bank Fraud section went to the ATM counter and found a skimming device fixed on the card slot. Also, a pinhole camera was found fixed above the keypad to capture the secret PIN of the customers.
Both the devices were seized and the CCTV footage of the ATM counter was scrutinised. A person was found attaching the skimming device to the card slot. From the CCTV footage of the Kolkata Traffic Police, investigators saw two foreign nationals roaming outside the ATM counter.
Police personnel in plainclothes were deputed to keep strict vigil in and around the ATM counter as it was known that the culprits would be back to retrieve the skimming device and the camera. The same evening, one of the two foreigners was spotted and was arrested. During the interrogation, he said he was called Laurentiu Caius from Romania and confessed that he along with his accomplice, Adrian Lupu (also from Romania), came there and fixed the skimming device and camera to clone ATM card details. It was later found that there were more people connected with this racket and raids were conducted in New Delhi as well. Two more Romanians, identified as Robert George and Marianu Alin, were apprehended. Several skimming devices, camera modules, laptop and blank plastic cards were seized from them. Later, a look-out notice was issued in the name of Lupu but till date he is untraceable.
Charge-sheet was filed at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Bankshall Court against all the accused persons. On Friday, charges were framed against the three accused.