The Bandra police, investigating the debit and credit card skimming racket, have arrested two waiters working in a Pune bar. The investigation has revealed that the gang's mastermind used to maintain a register of customers' card details and PINs, making it clear that several had fallen prey to the gang operating since 2016. Officers plan to approach the banks to get details of the other victims.
The police have also recovered 50 dummy cards and six skimming machines from the accused. A laptop with a special software to decode a card's details has also been recovered.
DCP (zone IX) Paramjit Singh Dahiya told mid-day, "We have come across two complaints from a private bank (after customers approached it); we are investigating to find out the total number of people cheated."
Cracking the crime
A team led by inspector (crime) Sanjeev Bhole and assistant inspector Bhimsen Gaikwad had been working on the case, after a complaint from a bank last month, regarding a fraudulent transaction in an ATM; the police found out that a member of the gang had opted for an unmanned ATM in Bandra to do the transaction.
The police zeroed in on the mastermind first - Byculla resident Mushraf Ifzat Ali - and arrested him earlier this week. His arrest led to another accused in the case, identified as Rizwan Sayed, who had withdrawn the cash from the ATM, sources said.
Further investigations led officers to a waiter of a beer bar outlet in the western suburbs - Vikas Shivanand - who used to pass on the card details, including PINs, to Ali. The three were produced before a court and sent to police custody till June 27.
An officer said, "The trio's interrogation revealed that two more people were involved, working as waiters in a bar in Pune. They would get Rs 1,000 per card."
The police team reached Pune on Wednesday and nabbed the duo - Abdul Ansari and Khurshid Ansari. They were produced in court yesterday and sent to police custody till July 1.
The police said they would take their cards, saying they were going to bring the machine but would first swipe the card in a skimming machine in their pockets to get the data. Later, they would swipe the card in the other machine in front of the customer, and then, ask for the PIN, said an officer.
"If the customer didn't give the PIN to them orally, the waiters would watch their finger movements, and later, guess the PINs and give them to the others," a source added.
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