CHENNAI: A sophisticated gang engaged in swindling money from accounts of foreign nationals, mainly from the United States, was busted with the arrest of a five-member gang by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the city police, here on Friday.
Police said the quintet included a suspect, jailed thrice for cloning cards of domestic and international banks and a kingpin of the operations in the country and abroad.
The action comes in the wake of a complaint from Axis Bank citing that funds from the account of a US Citizen, having an account in SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union headquartered in California, had been swindled by using the card information without the knowledge of the customer.
Investigation into this led to a transaction at a home appliances selling shop in Kolathur where the gang had purchased an LED television set. This resulted in their arrest. This was the latest transaction made by the gang to purchase an article and failed to cover up their claims.
The quintet identified as Reuban aka S Anandan (45), Sri Thishok Kumar (28), Dineshkumar (27), M Krishnadas aka Murugan (52), and Thaslin (24), were arrested in Madippakkam.
Except Thaslin, all others are Sri Lankan nationals.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the gang has sources who would procure/steal the details of the credit/debit card users from the US. A bulk data of about 50 card details will be emailed to the gang, which would then clone the cards. The balance in the cards were checked before cloning it. They would discard the cards which do not have sufficient balance in the account. The cloned cards which have healthy credit will be used to make purchases through swiping them until the card holder places a request to block the cards.
The gang will always have a standby cloned card, to used when a transaction was declined in any of the outlets, by apologising to the shop owner that they have forgotten the balance in that card.
Over 100 cards, two laptops, four passports, travel documents, an encoder machine and a luxury multi-utility vehicle (MUV) which were bought through the swindled money by the gang were seized by the police.