Tribune News Service
Amritsar, August 2
The city police arrested a Romanian citizen, who installed electronic devices on the card reader and the keypad of an ATM near the bus stand here on Friday. Such devices are meant to read the codes of debit and credit cards, which can be used to clone cards besides making digital transactions fraudulently. The accused has been identified as Oprea Marius, a resident of Bistrita Bulebardul Decemal NR6, Romania.
Ajay Arora, branch manager of the Sharifpura branch of Punjab and Sind Bank, stated in his complaint to the Division A police station that at around 4.15 pm on July 31, bank cashier Amandeep Singh found gum stuck on the ATM machine. While checking the CCTV recording, he came across a man installing devices, using gum, on the card reader unit and the keypad. The cashier informed the bank manager and he further informed the police. Officials kept an eye on the visitors. On August 1, when Oprea Marius turned up to collect his devices, a team of cops nabbed him.
Satnam Singh, in charge of the bus stand police post, said, “After preliminary investigation, the accused appears to have been a member of some major gang. The devices were perfectly fitted and an ordinary man can’t observe that the machine had been tampered with. The colour and size of the devices matched with those of the ATM. It seems that other persons are also there in the network, who support him technically.”
During police investigation, the accused confessed that he arrived in the city on Tuesday and roamed here and there. “Language is a major barrier in the investigation as he doesn’t know English. We have asked the Department of Foreign Languages, Guru Nanak Dev University, to provide someone who can communicate with him. Otherwise, we have to take assistance from New Delhi. The accused had stamped visitor visa for one year and he was residing in Delhi. The investigation involves several technical aspects so we will seek him in our custody for a long duration,” added Satnam Singh, investigating officer.
The police have seized a pack of gum, a cutter and electronic devices from him. The accused had no luggage and he was roaming in the same dress for the last three days. He has been booked under Sections 420, 511 of the IPC and 66C, 66D of the IT Act.
Oprea Marius, a citizen of Romania, appears to be a part of some major gang that resorts to such activities to steal data of those using ATMs. Codes of pastic money can be used to clone cards besides making digital transactions fraudulently. He installed such devices on the card reader and the keypad of an ATM near the bus stand. A cashier of Punjab and Sind Bank’s Sharifpura branch somehow detected the illegal activity. When Oprea and returned on August 1 to collect the same, the police caught him. Since he doesn’t know English, the police have sought the help of GNDU’s language wing to help communicate with him.
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