Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Abhyankar Nagar used as base to clone ATM Cards
In one of the shocking breakthrough, Ambazari police has unmasked two students at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) here and established their relation with one of the finely masterminded ATM frauds in Nagpur. The students, who are currently pursuing mining and mechanical engineering at VNIT, have been arrested along with one more accused. The students have allegedly fetched a swipe machine from China along with blank electronic cards and tampered some modification into it to clone the credit and debit cards used at the petrol pump in Abhyankar Nagar. The cloned card was then used for withdrawing huge sums of cash from the accounts of innocent people who used to fill petrol from Abhyankar Nagar pump using their debit cards. A petrol pump employee was reportedly involved in facilitating the crime.
It also surfaced that one of the prime masterminds is still at large while two more of the accused are in Goa holidaying with some VNIT College girls and two other girlfriends of the accused.
The action was swiftly carried out by Ambazari Police Inspector Anil Katkade under the directions of DCP Kolhe. led to the arrest of 3 accused
Ambazari police have been receiving series of complaints from victims who complained of suspicious withdrawal of large sum of money from their account, The cops finally acted on the complaint of the Akhilesh Mishra, who was in the third victim in the case. When the police were still investigating the matter, a lady named Sonali Tiwari (who was the first victim) registered a case against unknown persons for withdrawing Rs 40,000 from her account. She was followed by Subramaniuam who had a platinum card through which Rs 1 lakh was withdrawn from his account. This set the case on the move.
After giving the case to Cyber Cell, PI Katkade started investigating into the case. A peculiar similarity in all the crimes were that all the victims had filled petrol from the Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Abhankar Nagar using their pay cards.
Meanwhile another victim named Charan Singh also came to lodge a complaint that huge sum of cash was withdrawn from his account. He too had filled petrol at the same pump.
When Katkade reported the matter to DCP Kolhe, he instructed Katkade to keep watch on the activities and staff at Abhyankar petrol pump. Katkade and his team spent an entire day at the petrol pump, inspecting the functioning there. They could not find anything significant. However the next day, Katkade received a tip off that a supervisor who had joined the pump a fortnight ago was behaving suspiciously.
PI Katkade detained him and brought him to the police station, where they learnt his full name to be Nilesh Bhimrao Somkunwar. At the first meeting, he tried to hoodwink the police. He was let off. However, the cops kept a watch on all his activities. When the fourth victim came forward, the police picked up Nilesh again. They took him to an undisclosed place and tricked him with pressuring tactics, After interrogation for nearly 2 hours, he broke down and confessed to the entire crime. However, he told that, his role was limited to swapping the customers’ card once in the pump’s card swapping machine and the second time in a China made gadget given by two students of VNIT college who is said to be the mastermind.
He also used to note the last three digits of the ATM Card and pin number, which was given by the unsuspecting customers to pay for the fuel. In the evening, he was paid a sum of Rs 500 per card pin number and last 3 digits of the card.
Nilesh also divulged that this was the last crime at this place and that he was to resign and escape from here. He also named two accused as Manjeet Singh and Vineet Singh.
In order not to alert the accused and to prevent their escape from the city, PI Katkade got the list of all the students who are named Manjeet Singh and Vineet Singh. He also got the photographs of the same. He showed the photographs to Nilesh who immediately identified the accused.
Once identified, PI Katkade came to know that the second mastermind is a student of final year in Mining Engineer at VNIT. The second accused is Vineet Singh who is also in final year of Mechanical Engineer.
Talking to Nagpur Today, Katkade said that there are two more students of VNIT and one student from some other engineering college outside the city.
After ascertaining the modus operandi, PI Katkade put both the accused under scanner and soon found out their location to be in Goa. However, Manjit the second master mind returned to the city for the reasons best known to him. As soon as he returned, the police officials who were waiting for him, arrested him and brought him to Ambazari police station. He too was put through a thorough interrogation which yielded the entire modus operandi.
The entire modus operandi is as follows.
Nilesh who is at the petrol pump notes the ATM card’s pin number and last 3 digits of the card after swapping it once with the Pump’s ATM swapping machine and second time in the small Chinese made ATM scanning machine kept in his pocket.
In the evening, the main accused Manjit who is a student and a resident of VNIT Hostel, used to come and take the ATM scanning machine and the list of all the Pin numbers and the last three digits of the cards. Manjit used to pay Nilesh a sum of Rs 500 per card. After that, he used to go back to the hostel, where they had blank cards and magnetic strips. They used to get the number of original card by using the scanning machine and make a clone of the original card.
After that, the master mind to fly to Chandigarh or Rajasthan and use the ATM Card and withdraw huge sums of money from the accounts of unsuspecting customers either late in the night or at the wee hours of the morning. This ensured that the original customer used to discover the withdrawal only late in the next day. By then, the accused used to return by train back to the city. Manjit said that everybody got equal share in the money withdrawn fraudulently.
PI Katkade said that he is sure that there is a chain of gangs in action in the city. He claimed that there are at least 60 cases done by this gang alone. There could be many more from other engineering colleges too.
By Samuel Gunasekharan & Ravikant Kamble. Pics by Amol Gajbiye