Investigators, probing the installation of skimming devices at the four Canara Bank ATMs, on Friday said the three arrested Romanian nationals found the older-version card readers and keyboards easy to install the tools.
DSP (Crime) Pawan Kumar said, “During interrogation, the accused foreigners said the old structural card readers and keyboards in the ATM kiosks of Canara Bank was the reason that they installed the devices in those kiosks only. The shape of the card readers in these kiosks was such that skimming devices can be installed easily. And, there is cavity upon the keyboards on which a battery-operated camera with a small memory card can easily be pasted to record the PIN numbers of ATM card users. We had also examined the targeted ATM booths prior to arresting the Romanian nationals. We are going to write a letter to the Canara Bank management requesting them to change the shape of kiosks.”
The three skimming devices, which were installed in two ATM kiosks of Chandigarh and one in Mohali, were recovered on August 4. Later, three Romanians, Miclea Lecian Lonut, Paraschiv George Aletandru and Attila Luhos, were arrested by the Crime Branch on August 11. Three of them were remanded in judicial custody on Thursday.
Crime Branch Inspector Amanjot Singh said, “We have inspected the ATM kiosks at other banks and found that as the card readers are flat in shape, it is not easy to install skimming devices there. There is also no space for installing mobile-operated cameras over the keyboards at those kiosks.”
Jagjeet Singh, Regional Manager of Canara Bank, said, “The ATM kiosks were installed by a private company, which was outsourced by the bank management. And every kiosk has its life period and these kiosks were replaced after the completion of a particular life period. Indeed, the company is changing the shape of old card readers and keyboards. We are going to request the outsourced company to change the shape of card readers and keyboards, which are yet to complete the life period.”
Three ATM booths of Canara Bank were situated in Sector 17, Sector 35 and Manimajra, in which skimming devices were installed. In Mohali, the device was installed at the Phase-9 Canara Bank ATM. All the four kiosks were unguarded.
Kolkata Police team coming to Chandigarh
Police said a Kolkata Police team was on its way to Chandigarh to question the Romanian nationals in connection with the recovery of skimming devices at ATM kiosks in Kolkata. Police said it has also been established that Lonut, Aletandru and Luhos had installed the skimming device in Mohali.
Police recovered six ATM keyboard camera devices, three card skimming devices, 650 ATM cards, six pieces of camera-ribbed cable, two laptops, one ATM card magnetic skimming device, six iron devices along with three pieces of SD card adopters. Sources said the Romanian nationals were scheduled to transfer the skimmed data of ATM cards into the 650 recovered ATM cards.