Assam’s Golaghat Police has nabbed three ATM fraudsters from Guwahati and Hojai, and recovered 59 debit cards and five forged SIM cards issued in the name of different people. The police claimed that with their arrest they have solved at least two cases of online fraud.

The accused have been identified as Shahid Ahmed Laskar (28), Nurul Ahmed Barbhuiya (25), both residents of Nagaon district, and Motibul Rahman alias Raju (30), a resident of Hojai district.

Explaining their modus operandi, Golaghat Superintendent of Police Sumeet Sharma said the accused identified their targets by visiting various ATM kiosks.

The accused have been identified as Shahid Ahmed Laskar (28), Nurul Ahmed Barbhuiya (25), both residents of Nagaon district, and Motibul Rahman alias Raju (30), a resident of Hojai district.

“On the pretext of helping them, they would stealthily collect the last eight digits of the victim’s ATM and pin number,” the SP said.

The men would then collect their phone number and contact them for their name and address pretending to deliver a parcel, he added.

“Once they are equipped with their name and address, the accused would forge one of identity cards and then use the fake identity card to get a duplicate SIM issued in the name of the victim and get their one time password (OTP) needed to complete the transactions,” the police said.

The racket came to light in May following a police complaint filed by the principal of Khumtai College, alleging fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 13 lakh from the bank account of the principal.

Sharma said, based on the complaint, the police thoroughly examined the victim’s pass book and spotted the alleged transactions made by the accused. “We wrote to Amazon and Make My Trip to get the details of the transactions made on these two websites, besides examining the CCTV footage of the ATM from where they withdrew money and finally succeeded in tracking the mastermind to Guwahati,” the SP said.

“Initially, two accused were arrested from a rented house in Guwahati and brought to Golaghat. During their interrogation they revealed details of their accomplice, who was nabbed from Hojai,” added Sharma.

Appealing citizens to remain alert, Sharma said that one needs to remain alert and refrain from sharing their ATM details, pin, OTP and other personal details with any unknown persons.

The police have recovered a laptop, a tablet, a biometric machine, several duplicate identity cards, five forged SIM cards of victims, 59 debit cards, seven cheque books, 52 pass books and seven mobile phone from those arrested.

Golaghat Police have registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC & R/W sec 66 (c) IT Act and have added section 120(B)/468/471/419/403 of the IPC.

Police source said the accused have targeted several persons across the state and siphoned lakhs of rupees from their bank accounts. The case is currently under investigation and we are trying to get details of similar fraud cases from various police stations to find out their involvement, sources in the police added.

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