Another Credit Card Cloning Gang Busted, 5 Held

CHENNAI: Barely a week after a credit card cloning gang was arrested at a fuel station in Guindy, Central Crime Branch sleuths on Friday busted a racket in which five people were involved in a similar fraud, cheating customers of a mall in Aminjikarai. 
 
Police said Sivasurya, 24, who was employed at a hyper market chain outlet in Ampa Skywalk Mall, had been stealing data of customers using a skimmer and selling it to the gang who cloned cards. The fraud came to light after a HDFC bank official went to police saying some of the bank’s customers reported that their cards were being swiped elsewhere despite being in their possession. 
 
A team headed by deputy commissioner S Jayakumar probed the matter and found that Sivasurya, a cashier at the hypermarket chain outlet in Ampa Skywalk, would begin a conversation with customers and would steal data on the sly. He was nabbed. Based on his confession, police caught Shiju John, the kingpin, his accomplices Murugan, 32, of Pammal and Raja, 32, of Periyar Nagar, and another racketeer Vijayakumar alias Vijayacharles, 36, of Periyar Nagar,. 
 
During interrogation, Sivasurya said he had been selling the data to Shiju and Vijayakumar for Rs 200 per card for the past two years. 
 
Murugan and Raja helped Shiju operate the racket that earned the gang at least Rs 2 crore in 4 years, police said. Shiju also ran a fictitious business with several branches and bank accounts and got card-swiping machines from banks. “Many credit card holders who knew of his racket and were in urgent need of money approached him. He would swipe their cards for purchases made from the fictitious business and gave them the cash once the bank paid up. He took a 5% commission on ech transaction,” said a senior police officer. 
 
Separately, for a fee of Rs 15,000, Shiju arranged documents required to obtain bank loans. Eleven card-swiping machines, a computer, 40 debit cards, six cell phones, Rs 1.40 lakh in cash, blank statements of various banks and stamps and seals of state and central government offices were seized from him. 
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Courtesy: Times of India
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