Bengaluru: Two Ugandans arrested for ATM data theft

Bengaluru: The Kothanur police have arrested two Ugandan nationals for trying to fix a microchip camera and a card reader at an ATM in Hegde Nagar, to record and steal customer data, early Tuesday.

The accused have been identified as Babalanda Amunon, 25 and Ongido Ambrose, 22, both hailing from Kampala.

The police said the two had come to the city on student visa and later dropped out of their college and took to crime. Their visas expired three years ago and they were living illegally in the city.

Police said alert policemen on night patrol came across these two men and found them moving around suspiciously. They were picked up and brought to the Kothanur police station.

During questioning they revealed that the two were part of skimming racket.

The police said the two used to fit a micro camera above the keypad and install a card reader at the swiping device to record the customer’s details. Using these recorded data they would transfer it to an empty card and prepare a duplicate card using magnetic tapes. The accused used these duplicate cards to withdraw money from the ATMs.

The police said that after raiding their house in SRK Nagar in Kothanur, they recovered two laptops, two card readers, two micro cameras fitted with battery, four  skimmers and nine mobile phones.

The police also recovered cash of Rs 60,000 and 160 empty ATM cards from them. The police have cracked 20 cases in the city.

Probe revealed that the gang is headed by a woman who is currently on the run. The gang has been operating for the past few years and are using these duplicate cards to withdraw money from ATMs in the city and neighbouring states.

A senior official said the accused would purchase all the required devices online and keep a watch on ATMs in the city and zero in on those having no security cameras and guards.

A senior police official said they conducted a meeting with the RBI and proposed to install anti-skimmer devices at the ATMs to prevent data theft and provide one-time passwords at the ATMs for every withdrawal.

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