As many as 37 more complaints were registered today by customers of several banks a day after a massive ATM fraud came to light. Customers mostly from areas within Jadavpur and Charu Market police station limits have lodged complaints claiming that huge amount of money has been fraudulently withdrawn from their accounts.

Till now, the amount of loss stands at more than rupees 13 lakh. Meanwhile, the anti fraud section of the Detective Department (DD) has taken over the case and a team of officers has reached Delhi and started an investigation to nab the culprits.

“A team from Kolkata Police has already reached Delhi and sought assistance from Delhi Police. We have got some crucial CCTV footage from the ATM kiosks and identified a person wearing a black mask over his face. Preliminary investigation suggests the involvement of Romanian nationals in this ATM fraud. For the past two to three days we have received 44 cases from Jadavpur police station and 13 cases from Charu Market police station. There was loss of rupees 9 lakh and 3 lakh respectively in two cases,” said joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma at a press briefing today.

Later two more cases of unauthorised cash withdrawals were reported from Netaji Nagar and Karaya. Already two ATM kiosks of a nationalised bank have been identified by the police in Jadavpur area from where the data is most likely to have been stolen before April. Police said that although bank authorities had put in place several safety measures such as installing anti-skimming device, enhancing e-surveillance and recruiting security personnel at the ATMs, there still exist a few loopholes that need to be plugged.

“Although the compliance rate is 80 to 85 per cent so far as security is concerned, there are about 250 unmanned ATMs in the city. We have asked the bank officials to complete all security requirements and submit a report by January 2020. In last April, we held similar meetings with them and since then, many private and nationalised banks have upgraded their ATM machines and transitioned from magnetic strip-based to microchip-based cards. There is also a safety feature in the Yono app of the State Bank of India which enables the consumers to activate cards before they withdraw money and then deactivate it immediately after the transaction is over, ” said the senior police officer.

He also said that bike patrolling during the night will be increased so that the fraudsters do not get any chance to fix skimming devices on the ATM machines. He cited an instance of how three persons were apprehended by the police from New Market area last month when they had tried to fit a skimmer on an ATM which already had an antiskimming device and alarm went off instantly. Sources said that senior police officers have also held talks with the bank authorities so that the money can be repaid to the affected customers.