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Chennai police arrest three people involved in SBI ATM heist

Last week, Chennai police said they had received 19 complaints of cash being swindled from ATMs at Velachery, Taramani and Virugambakkam and they were suspecting a gang from outside Tamil Nadu.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
June 28, 2021 2:14:59 pm
SBI, state bank of india, demonetisation, SBI card, SBI card delivery, SBI card limit, SBI cash limit, SBI bank deposit, demonetisation news, cash crunch, business news, indian express, india newsSBI Chennai’s chief general manager Radhakrishnan has since then said as an immediate preventive measure they had suspended cash withdrawal facility from such deposit machines. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

The Chennai police on Monday arrested another accused involved in a series of thefts at various State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs in Tamil Nadu. So far, three people have been nabbed in this case for looting Rs 48 lakh taking advantage of a technical glitch at ATMs.

Last week, Chennai police said they had received 19 complaints of cash being swindled from ATMs at Velachery, Taramani and Virugambakkam and they were suspecting a gang from outside Tamil Nadu.

On June 23, Amir Harsh, one of the gang members, who was hiding in Haryana, was arrested and brought to Chennai. The police said Amit had told them that nine other members from Haryana were involved in the theft. A special team headed by T Nagar Deputy Commissioner went to Haryana and with the help of local police, arrested Virendra Rawat. It was revealed that the gang was involved in similar lootings in Krishnagiri, Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai and Vellore.

The thieves used a novel way to swindle money. The cash deposit machines (CDM) provide a 20-second window for customers to take cash away and if it is not done in that time, the cash goes back into the machines. If cash is collected, the lid of the machine slides and closes. The probe indicated that the suspects first withdrew cash from the machines (using withdrawal option in such machines) and then prevented the lid from closing for a while by blocking it with their hands. The sensors appeared to have misread this action for “cash not being taken away” by customers and sent messages to servers that cash has not been withdrawn. Hence, the related bank accounts were not debited while cash was taken away from machines.

SBI Chennai’s chief general manager Radhakrishnan has since then said as an immediate preventive measure they had suspended cash withdrawal facility from such deposit machines.

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