A Hungarian and a Romanian national have been arrested in Bengaluru on suspicion of rigging several ATMs by cloning debit cards of unsuspecting users by planting devices such as card skimmers and pin cameras at several kiosks in the city. The arrested duo, the police said, have confessed to being part of an organised gang working with a UK-based operator.
Karnataka CID’s cyber crime unit identified the two as Dan Sabin Christian (40) of Romania and Mare Janos (44) of Hungary. They arrived on a tourist visa on September 1 and were scheduled to leave for the UK on September 19, the police said. They have travelled to the US, Mexico, Jamaica, France and Argentina, among other countries, in recent past.
They were arrested this week.
Officials said they have found that Christian and Janos planted devices at five ATMs on eight occasions in the central business district and once at the international airport. The issue came to light after officials of Kotak Mahindra Bank reported that such devices were found at the bank’s ATM on MG Road.
Based on CCTV footage, further probe found that similar equipment was installed at the international airport’s ATM. Police laid a trap for the suspects and waited for them to come to retrieve the devices.
“The duo brought sophisticated equipment and planted it in ATMs to gather data of as many ATM users as possible to later monetise it,” CID Director General H C Kishore Chandra said. Christian and Janos were earlier caught in Jamaica for a similar offence, he said. “No money has been stolen with the data theft in Bengaluru,” CID Additional DGP Prathap Reddy said. The CID will initiate proceedings against the gang’s main operators through the Interpol, he said.