Gujarat: Mama-bhanja ATM card thieves duo

AHMEDABAD: In a revolutionary operation that could help decipher dozens of illegal ATM withdrawals, Narol police arrested Nasiruddin Ansari, 36, on Saturday, and his maternal nephew Salman Ansari, 22, of Juhapura.

Police said the duo duo tricked people at ATM centers and stole their ATM cards by exchanging them for deceased or fake cards. They used to frequent ATMs and offered help to people who withdrew money. During the process, they wrote down the victim's PIN and then with a sleight of hand to exchange and steal the victim's ATM card. Once the victim left the ATM center, he withdrew the money from the victim's account, before the person became aware of the fraud and blocked the debit card.

The inspector at Narol police station, S A Gohil, said they had recovered 56 of those debit cards belonging to others in the duo. We are questioning them to learn about each case of card theft, including the circumstances of the crimes and their modus operandi, Gohil said.

Police sources said the defendants presented themselves as well-dressed and educated gentlemen whenever they were at the ATMs. Both defendants are residents of Juhapura.

“Once they marked someone as vulnerable, they used to stop him in the middle of the money withdrawal saying there was an error in the machine. While the victim was agitated by his intervention, they used to steal his ATM card by changing it to a fake one, ”said a police officer.

Gohil said the recovery of 56 ATM cards from different people points to a minimum of 56 of those crimes. But it is very likely that they have committed many more crimes and discarded cards that were later blocked by their victims.

We have transmitted messages to police stations throughout the state asking them to report cases against unknown people using a similar modus operandi, Gohil added.