CHENNAI: Three Bulgarians who were allegedly in possession of two skimmer devices used to steal debit card credentials from ATMs, were arrested by Chennai police on Saturday. Police said Rs 7.5 lakh Indian currency and 13,000 US dollars, laptops and mobile phones were seized from the trio identified as Lyubomir Maksimov (33), Nicholai Katev (30) and Boris Valkov (30). All three reached Chennai on July 13 and checked into a hotel at Karapakkam on OMR.
“While they were staying in the same room, one of them recently sought help with the receptionist on Thursday to open the safe locker in their room as he forgot the password. While an engineer helped them open the locker, he noticed bundles of Indian currency wrapped in clear polythene bags. On suspicion, he informed the hotel administration and the staff searched the room on Friday when the trio were out.
They found that the gang had hidden the decoder and encoder devices in a cupboard inside the bathroom and alerted Kannagi Nagar police station,” an official from the Central Crime Branch said. Inspector Veerakumar of Kannagi Nagar police station, had told the hotel staff to keep the devices as they were and locked the room to avoid suspicion. When the trio returned to the hotel, the staff informed police who secured the Bulgarians.
Preliminary inquiry revealed that the gang reached the city with debit and credit card credentials of foreigners to create fake cards here and withdraw cash in ATMs. “The men were withdrawing cash from ATM cards of Bulgarians which they had stolen there and were also planning to steal information from Chennai, police said.