He swiped their money from ATMs

He swiped their money from ATMs

He swiped their money from ATMs

Rajendrakumar Kulkarni

Even police were in a shock when they assessed the wealth of Rajendrakumar Kulkarni, arrested for ATM card fraud here on Saturday. Kulkarni, who hails from Bailhongal in Belgaum district and lost his job two years ago, was found to be having a cash of Rs 11.30 lakh, a site in a posh locality in Dharwad worth Rs 4.50 lakhs, ATM cards and gold ornaments worth lakhs of rupees, in addition to the luxury car.

His modus operandi was simple. Wait inside the ATM kiosks with two or more machines and tell the unsuspecting customers that machine was out of order after they swiped their card. Once they left the place, draw the cash from the machine and disappear. To gain their confidence, he was identifying himself as an employee of the bank.

However, his luck ran out on Saturday. One Shivappa Pattanashetty, who was taken for a ride and lost Rs 40,000 at an SBM ATM on October 6, had acted swiftly.
He lodged a complaint with the police and immediately the police got the picture of the accused through the closed circuit TV footage. The photo was shown to the watchman and he was asked to alert the police when Kulkarni came to the kiosk again. The watchman promptly alerted the police on Saturday, leading to the arrest.

Briefing the media, Hubli-Dharwad Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar said after losing his job in a company in Bangalore two years ago, he had settled down in Hubli and took to ATM fraud.

He had cheated people in Bangalore and Dharwad. Four complaints have been lodged in the suburban police station.

Police sources said, Kulkarni, who was residing in Navanagar near Hubli, has cheated the people to the tune of Rs 25 lakh. Moreover, according to a confession by the accused, he was spending about Rs 30,000 per month from this ill-gotten money.     
Police are sending a team to Bailhongal on Sunday to estimate Kulkarni’s assets in his hometown.