Police bust ATM heist, Romanian in police custody

Mumbai/Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 10 (IANS) A Romanian man, arrested in Mumbai on Tuesday, was sent to police custody on Wednesday for a sensational ATM heist in the Kerala capital.

A four-member Kerala Police team in Mumbai interrogated Gabriel Marian, who has reportedly admitted to committing the crime. He said he was part of a gang which included three other Romanians.

The Kerala Police are likely to bring him to the state on Thursday.

Marian was taken into custody on Tuesday night from Mumbai. He identified two others involved in the crime as Bogdean Florian and Christian Victor.

The fourth, also a Romanian, too has been identified.

Kerala Police officials suspect that the other three may have left India.

Marian was detained while he was withdrawing money from an ATM in Station Plaza.

All the Romanians are believed to have stayed at a hotel in the Kerala capital.

They placed electronic equipment in a SBI kiosk, which enabled them to get the details of card holders who withdrew money from the ATM.

Using the stolen data, the gang withdrew money from Mumbai.

On Sunday, a few ATM cardholders got SMS alerts on mobile telephones stating money had been withdrawn from their accounts.

Around 50 people complained to the police here. The total loss to these bank customers has been put around Rs 2.50 lakh.

When they checked the visuals of CCTV camera, officials spotted two foreigners working on the ‘smoke alarm’ inside a SBI ATM.

The police have urged all those who used their ATM card at this kiosk to change their pins and have also asked all the banks to ensure that their kiosks do not contain any external fixtures.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Travancore on Wednesday reimbursed the losses suffered by those who used the ATM.

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told reporters that they have urged the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that proper safety mechanisms are adopted by banks to make their system foolproof.

–IANS

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