Gang swapping ATM cards to withdraw money busted in Ludhiana

Two suspects arrested with nine cards; Rs 9,000 recovered

Gang swapping ATM cards to withdraw money busted in Ludhiana

DCP (Crime) Simratpal Singh Dhindsa addresses a press conference regarding the arrest of members of the gang committing ATM frauds in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30

The city police claim to have busted a gang involved in withdrawing cash from bank accounts of people after exchanging their ATM cards.

The police arrested two gang members in the case, who were identified as Sandeep Kumar Kala (36), a resident of Gurpal Nagar, and Mohit Kumar, alias Sumit, alias Sunny (36), a resident of Vijay Nagar, Daba.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Crime, Simratpal Singh Dhindsa, and the ACP, Crime, Surinder Mohan conducted an online press conference regarding the matter today.

As per the available information, on September 26, two unknown persons shrewdly swapped an ATM card and later withdrew Rs 14,500 from the bank account of a city resident.

Complainant Ramandeep Singh of Labour Colony, Jamalpur, told the police that he along with his father had gone to withdraw cash from the Axis Bank ATM in Jamalpur where two persons on the pretext of helping them in withdrawing cash exchanged his ATM card. Later, he got a message on his mobile phone that Rs 14,500 was withdrawn from his bank account.

When probe in the case was initiated, two persons were identified and nabbed by the police, said the DCP. The police also recovered nine ATM cards and Rs 9,000 in cash from the suspects, the DCP added.

During preliminary questioning, the suspects disclosed that they had committed several such crimes during the past few months in Moti Nagar, Sahnewal, Subash Nagar, Sundar Nagar, Cheema Chowk, Rahon Road and Daba road, the DCP said.

The gang was mainly targeting elderly persons, migrant labourers and women, the DCP added while revealing about the modus operandi of the suspects. They used to remain present outside ATM kiosks, the DCP said. Whenever any elderly or woman entered the ATM kiosk, the suspects used to follow him/her, the DCP added. On the pretext of helping victims, suspects used to coax them to reveal passwords and shrewdly exchange their ATM cards, the DCP said.

The DCP appealed to people not to hand over their ATM cards to any stranger. If residents faced any issue, they should ask the bank staff for help, the DCP added.

“The police will also paste awareness posters inside ATM kiosks so that residents do not fall prey to such conmen,” the DCP said.

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