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Three Mumbai residents held for ATM skim attempt

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Close on the heels of the arrests of two Romanians from Delhi, Kolkata police on Wednesday made another breakthrough by arresting three persons, all hailing from Mumbai, in connection with an alleged attempt to collect data using skimmer devices at four ATMs in the city on Wednesday.

Anti-Rowdy section (ARS) of Kolkata police along with Bhawanipore police in a joint raid on Wednesday arrested three persons, Syad Saeed (35) alias Sahil Khan, Rohit Nayar (35) and Sudhir Rajan (31), all from Mumbai, in connection with an alleged attempt to collect bank customers’ data by using skimmer devices from at least four ATMs.

Sources close to the ARS wing of Kolkata police said that one of the trio, Rohit Nayar (35), an engineering course dropout, was caught by an alert guard at an ATM at Elgin Road while trying to install an alleged skimmer device on the cash dispensing machine.

Though all trio were present, the other two, Sayed Saeed alias Sahil Khan and Sudhir Rajan, had managed to flee from the spot. Later, Bhawanipore police had taken custody of Nayar.

Sources further claimed that after questioning Nayar, police got the names of the other two and information regarding their whereabouts. Meanwhile, Sahil Khan and Sudhir Rajan, police sources said, had attempted to collect data from three other ATMs ~ two at Kasba and one at New Market area ~ before they were to fly out to Mumbai for which they had booked tickets.

However, based on specific leads and the information that Nayar had revealed, a team of officers from the ARS wing of Kolkata police and Bhawanipore police in a joint raid arrested them from the Airport area.

Meanwhile, sources close to the SIT probing the Rs 20 lakh bank fraud, said that following interrogation of the arrested Romanians, they had obtained the name of one Nana, a Romanian, said to be the ringleader of the group.

Nana, according to the sources, is now under detention by Customs officers at Sonauli at the Indo-Nepal border, was the third person who used to live with the arrested Romanians at a Haus Khas apartment but had been able to give the police slip.

“We have information from the customs officials at the Indo-Nepal border that Nana has been put under detention after a lookout notice was issued against him. A team of Kolkata police will go to Sonauli soon to verify the person. Meanwhile, our team had interrogated Cornel Merea at Tihar jail and he has revealed some names,” Praveen Tripathi Jt CP ( Crime) said.

“This is perceived to be a handiwork of a big group involving Romanians, Nigerians and of course Indians. They have been working as a team. While some have been engaged in fraudulently withdrawing money from the ATMs, some were engaged in inserting skimmer devices to collect data and others are involved in cloning cards. We have recovered a laptop and some cards from them,” the Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) said.