Two Romanians held for Kolkata ATM frauds

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Kolkata : Two Romania nationals were detained in connection with ATM frauds in the eastern metropolis wherein many persons were swindled out of money totalling Rs 18-20 lakh through fraudulent transactions, Kolkata Police said on Friday.

The accused were picked from Vasant Vihar in Delhi and 20 duplicate ATM cards, also called clone cards, seized from them. Magnetic strips used in ATM cards were also seized, police told the media here.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the two accused arrived in Kolkata in March and stayed for around two months.

The fraud was committed by the use of skimming machines on ATMs to clone users' card details. The accused then fraudulently withdrew around Rs 18-20 lakh from different bank accounts at unmanned ATMs in a week.

A Special Investigation Team was set up to probe the fraud after the victims approached city police earlier this week with complaints that money ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 40,000 were withdrawn from their bank accounts fraudulently.

Police has so far received 77 complaints, primarily customers of Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank. A former Calcutta University Professor and a renowned radio jockey were among the victims.

Canara Bank identified 37 customers from its south Kolkata branch as victims and said it was taking steps to compensate affected customers within a week. The PNB said it has started compensating depositors as well.