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TMCNet:  Police bust online money withdrawal racket [Guwahati] [Times of India]

[December 12, 2012]

Police bust online money withdrawal racket [Guwahati] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ITANAGAR: Police have busted a racket of unauthorized withdrawals of cash from accounts of SBI customers through online transactions and arrested four persons from Assam's Barpeta district.

The culprits were arrested on Sunday morning, two months after the arrest of one Shariful Islam here on September 25 last, Capital SP Surinder Kumar said on Tuesday. The arrestees are Mukibul Islam, Habib Ahmed, Razzaqul Islam and Rafikul Islam. A laptop, mobile handset and two memory cards were seized from the house of one of the arrestees, the SP said.

Kumar said in June and July, Itanagar Police received several complaints from SBI customers about unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts and two cases were registered.

During the course of investigation, bank officials and payment gateway sites were contacted and transaction and shipment details taken. Shariful Islam, who was arrested earlier during custodial interrogation, had disclosed the modus operandi and the name of his associates involved in the crime.

After collecting the evidence and details of associates, a police team left for Barpeta. After locating the hideouts, the accused were nabbed. During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they had gone to Itanagar several times and used to visit different ATMs in the capital and collect SBI customers' ATM password and card number from innocent customers who used the service by posing as customers and standing behind probable victims and noting down the password on their mobile.

After collecting the ATM card details, the accused used to SMS the details to their associates at Barpeta who in turn immediately start to make withdrawals by ordering electronic goods like high-end mobile handsets, LED TVs and bluetooth headsets through online payment gateways.

The accused used to sell electronic goods at subsidized rates through their shop at Barpeta and do the recharge through their shop and within their locality. By the time the actual account holders realized about the withdrawals and intimated the bank, their accounts were empty.

Till now, Rs 12 lakh from about 20 SBI customers has been looted, the SP said. He added that all the accused are youths studying in schools and colleges and are running mobile shops. Investigation is on to nab rest of the culprits.

He added that all four accused have been produced before the judicial magistrate on Monday and remanded in seven-day police custody.

(c) 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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