CHENNAI: In a first in Tamil Nadu, a gang of four fraudsters devised a novel modus operandi exploiting a technical flaw in several State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs across the state and swindled cash to the tune of Rs 48 lakh.
Chennai police have formed a special team, headed by an Additional Commissioner (South), to nab the gang members, purportedly belonging to the northern part of the country.
The new modus operandi, by taking advantage of a technical flaw in SBI's Automated Cash Withdrawal and Deposit machine, offered time and ensured that the crime remained undetected until a common thread was established between all the incidents where the gang struck.
SBI Chennai's Chief General Manager R Radhakrishna met Chennai Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal at the Commissionerate Tuesday and apprised him about the situation.
In a joint press meet, the city top cop said that the gang belongs to a different state, referring to leads and information gathered so far in the preliminary investigation.
"Around 19 cases have been reported and the bank has incurred a loss of Rs 48 lakh," Jiwal said, adding that this is the first time such a method was used to swindle cash from ATMs in the state.
"I cannot reveal the technical flaw as the matter is under investigation. But the flaw has been rectified by the bank now," he said.
When asked if ATMs of other banks were targeted, the officer said, "So far they have only targeted SBI. We will be writing to other banks to know whether such attempts have been made in their ATMs. If not, they will be told to take preventive steps."
The SBI official Radhakrishna said, "All the machines that have such flaws have been stopped for cash withdrawal. Such machines will not give cash. This is the immediate step we have taken."
"The Automated Cash Withdrawal and Deposit machine was manufactured by two companies. But the flaw is with one of the company-made machines," Radhakrishna said, assuring to beef up security measures.