Mumbai Crime: Masked men hack ATM, rob Rs 20 lakh without opening it

Two masked suspects used malware to withdraw more than a thousand Rs 2,000 notes in an hour and 10 minutes at ATM in Mumbai Central; investigators say this is the first such instance in Maharashtra

The Corporation Bank ATM  in Mumbai Central that was targeted. Pic/Suresh Karkera
The Corporation Bank ATM  in Mumbai Central that was targeted. Pic/Suresh Karkera

This robbery was a total hack job. Two masked men broke into an ATM in Mumbai Central in February, hacked into its software and stole Rs 20.8 lakh from it, without ever opening the machine.

Months after the theft, an FIR was registered in the matter on Friday, following inquiries and tests into its modus operandi.

The Nagpada police are investigating the case. According to them, Nikhil Lahu Shetye, a 35-year-old Santacruz resident who works as a supervisor in Electronic Payment Services Private Limited, headquartered in Chennai, approached them on Friday to register the FIR against two unidentified suspects.

Also read: Criminals hack SBI ATM, use info to draw Rs 5 lakh

Shetye's employers provide ATM machines to banks and also offer the facility to fill them with money.

As per complainant's statement, in the wee hours of February 11, two unidentified people entered the ATM of Corporation Bank on the Maratha Mandir road in Mumbai Central.

The men entered the Corporation Bank ATM in the wee hours of February 11. Pic/Suresh Karkera
The men entered the Corporation Bank ATM in the wee hours of February 11. Pic/Suresh Karkera

"The two accused used malware through a laptop, to put a system application in the money dispenser of the ATM, and took over it. They withdrew 1,040 notes of Rs 2,000 (Rs 20.80 lakh) between 3.21am to 4.31am," said a sub-inspector.

"Without opening the ATM, the suspects managed to withdraw the money from it by hacking into the machine online," said Sanjay Baswat, senior inspector, Nagpada police station.

The matter came to light when the Powai-based monitoring cell of the company observed that the ATM was shut. The company then sent officials of NCR, the ATM manufacturing company, which concluded that the machine had been hacked after analysing its hard disk. After conducting an internal inquiry in the following months, the company approached cops on Friday.

Also read: Axis bank accounts hacked, Rs 13 lakh withdrawn from ATMs

"The complainant company told us that this is the first instance in Maharashtra and only second in the country when an ATM machine has been looted in such a highly professional manner. The accused persons were technologically sound and well aware of how ATM systems work," said an officer.

The FIR has been registered under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 30 (valuable security) 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 43 (damage to computer, computer system, etc), 66 C (identity theft) and 66 D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act.

Cops are now probing two companies — one current, one former — who had been given the contract for filling the money in the ATM. They have obtained details of current and former employees of the company.

1,040 No. of notes stolen from ATM

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