Police Arrest 14 for alleged ATM fraud in Sikkim

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At least 14 people, all “residents of Uttar Pradesh” have been arrested for alleged ATM fraud, a senior police officer said.

According to East district Superintendent of Police Tenzing Loden Lepcha, a “huge nexus” is involved in the crime, with at least 40 individuals, who have come from UP to Sikkim over the past few months, found to be fraudulently withdrawing money from ATMs by tampering with the machines.

Sikkim State Co-operative Bank Limited (SISCO) is one of the worst-hit lenders “as Rs 1.9 crore was withdrawn from its 17 ATM machines throughout the state over the past three months”, the SP said.

Bank authorities, on being alerted by the cyber crime unit of the Uttar Pradesh Police, checked records and CCTV footages and found several discrepancies and suspicious activities, following which they filed a complaint with the local police.

Explaining the modus operandi, the SP said the gang members would open bank accounts impersonating as someone else to swindle money.

“They would tamper with the machines after withdrawing cash, and then call the bank to say that the ATM failed to deliver money, despite the amount being debited from their account. The machines were tampered with in a way that the complaint seemed genuine and cash was re-deposited to their accounts,” the officer said.

The 14 arrests were made on Wednesday after receiving a complaint from SISCO, the SP said.

“All of them were nabbed at Rangpo as they were trying to escape to West Bengal,” he said, adding that more arrests will soon be made in the case.



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