Sikkim Police arrested 14 fraudsters of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh who were misusing ATM machines in Sikkim on August 30, after Sikkim State Cooperative Bank Manager Ujjwal Sharma filed a complaint. The 14 fraudsters had 70 ATM cards with them.
The tip in contention was of a series of fraudsters entering Sikkim, almost 40 of them, entering Sikkim to physically tamper ATM machines in Sikkim. As narrated by Sikkim Police Superitendent of Police for Gangtok District Tenzing Loden Lepcha, “The fraudsters if they had to withdraw Rs. 40,000 they would initially do so, but before the transaction could be cleared, they would somehow physically tamper the system and make the transaction as though the money withdrawn was not received but the transaction history showed of withdrawal. They would then complain to the Bank devoted for the ATM, as in this case, SISCO bank and its ATM. They would call of transaction not happening, later the Rs. 40,000 would be refunded to their account and they would still have the additional Rs. 40,000 cash in hand which they had already withdrawn”.
The Manager for SISCO had checked the CCTV footages of the ATM and filed his complaint with Sadar Police Station in Gangtok, after finding certain individuals were found to be suspicious. Sikkim Police’s Cyber Crime Unit consulted with their counterparts and were informed that as many as 40 fraudsters to have entered Sikkim. SP Gangtok Tenzing Loden stated, “We were able to apprehend 14 fraudsters after sending information to Rangpo Check Post and Melli Check Post. The rest of the 26 fraudsters are still at large. We came to know that these fraudsters didn’t even know each other, they were functioning in sub groups and one group was unaware about the other group. So it is hard to ascertain who the remaining fraudsters could be.
Sikkim Police further informed that in the month of March –April if such withdrawal refunds were in the range of Rs. 15-20,000. In the following months, such refunds reached as high as Rs. 15-20 lakhs, clearly indicative of the fraud. It is learnt that they have been Sikkim since few months and they entered the state in sub groups. As per the preliminary report from SISCO Bank, Sikkim Police informed that around Rs. 1.9 Crores was reverted back to the fraudsters in the past few months, leaving a few genuine cases.
SP Gangtok stated, “Here the victim is the bank and institutions. We are yet to receive such complaints from other banks in Sikkim, but we fear there could be more. Similar cases have been reported in other parts of the country as well. As of now we have received the complaint from SISCO Bank alone”.
The fraudsters will be put under judicial remand and they have been booked under IPC sections 379 punishment for theft, IPC 420 cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, IPC 120B whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, section 66D of IT Act which states whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, and IPC 34 acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.