Four people, including three foreign nationals, were arrested in Thane by the district police on Feb.26 for allegedly running a debit card-cloning racket.
The police identified the accused who have been arrested as Kalam Usman Khan, 32, from Kanpur, Richard Ronald Mago, 32, from Nigeria, Hileery Isten Kingen, 27, from Kenya, and Sandriq Sam Damba, 20, from Uganda.
The gang allegedly cheated many customers of several lakh rupees at ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) outlets, PTI reported citing an official. Mahesh Patil, the district superintendent of police (Rural), said that the accused were booked under IPC sections associated with cheating and forgery, among others.
The gang fixed card skimmers in ATMs so they could get data and then they would withdraw money deceptively from customers’ bank accounts, the police said.
They allegedly meddled with POS machines in the same way and by using the same procedure, transferred money from the bank accounts of naive customers by deceiving them.
On the night of Feb.25, the police got a tip-off about these four men arriving at a hotel at Kashimira in Thane. They were on a lookout for these men and nabbed them as soon as they came there, according to reports. The police seized a four-wheeler, Rs 79,000 in cash, and accessories used by the gang like a laptop, data writer copier and POS computer data cable.
Many IDs, Aadhaar cards, PAN cards, credit and debit cards of Indian and foreign banks were also confiscated, said the police.
Earlier this month, a 62-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom was arrested at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai over his alleged links to a Rs.13 crore cheating case. Mark Lawrence Lopresto was arrested by officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Feb.9.
According to National Crime Records Bureau, West Bengal recorded the maximum number of crimes registered with foreigners as offenders, at 520 cases, while Delhi recorded 143. A total of 91 cases were registered in Karnataka in 2016. In all, 1,226 crimes were registered against foreigners from 47 countries in 2016. In 2015, the figure was 1,278.
Goa saw a high number of cheating cases while Delhi had more forgery incidents. Eleven cases of murder and 12 rapes were registered against foreigners in 2016 all over India.
In August 2017, state Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar informed the Goa Legislative Assembly that more than 400 foreigners were booked for various crimes in Goa in the last five years. Most foreign nationals who have criminal cases against them belong to Nigeria, Russia, Nepal and UK.