Kathmandu, June 21
The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested a person for allegedly stealing information and pin codes from debit/credit cards inserted into ATM machines and using the information to withdraw cash.
According to CIB, Raju Kumar Pandey, 33, of Bara district was held from his rented house in Shankhamul, Kathmandu, yesterday. Superintendent of Police Deepak Regmi said Pandey had colluded with Romanian nationals to withdraw more than two million rupees from various ATM booths of Rastriya Banijya Bank in Kathmandu.
“Our investigation shows that Pandey came into contact with three Romanian nationals, who are members of international ATM skimming fraud racket, in Thamel and stole debit/credit card information of bank customers before withdrawing cash,” he said. Pandey and the Romanian nationals distributed the cash withdrawn from ATM booths in an unauthorised manner among themselves equally. CIB suspected that the foreign racketeers had already managed to flee Nepal.
As many as 12 debit cards of several persons, two plain debit cards, two mobile phone sets, two laptops, a motorcycle and Rs 686,000 in cash have been confiscated from Pandey. ATM skimming involves stealing information from debit cards by secretly installing an unauthorised card reading device with a hidden camera in ATM machines to record personal identification numbers entered into the keypad. The racketeers then make duplicate cards using the information and drain cash from ATMs.
CIB has arrested 24 persons, including six Nepalis, four Romanians, four Turkish, four Bulgarians, two Indians and four Moldovans so far, for their involvement in ATM fraud. Around Rs 9.56 million was seized from those arrested.
A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.