Turkish hacker duo fake papers to rent flat in Tripura

Representative Image (Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay)

Two Turkish nationals arrested on the charge of withdrawing lakhs of rupees from ATMs in Tripura using cloning devices, had furnished fake documents to take a flat on rent at Belgharia near here around six months ago, police said.

They were suspected to have installed skimming devices in automated teller machines of the State Bank of India in Tripura to clone debit cards and had stolen the money.

The Turkish duo had taken the flat at the end of May and they were using it as their hideout, an officer of the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate said.

"The two used to move from one state to another to commit similar types of crime and return to the flat. They were using the two Bangladeshis as their key men. Preliminary findings hinted their links to international ATM skimming racket," the IPS officer said.

It is suspected that the two had been involved in ATM heist in Mumbai, Goa, Assam besides Tripura, he said adding that documents containing international phone numbers and several codes have been seized from their possession.

Hard disks, thousands of ATM cards were also recovered from the flat where they were staying, the police officer said.

"We are trying to find out whether anyone from the city was associated with them," he added.

The arrested four were Turkish nationals Hakan Zanburkan and Fettah Aldemir, and Mohammad Hannan and Mohammad Rafiqul Islam of Bangladesh.  

Acting on inputs received from their counterparts in Tripura, West Bengal police arrested the two, besides as many Bangladeshis, from Belgharia in North 24 Parganas district in the wee hours of Tuesday. 

The State Bank of India in Tripura has received 45 complaints from customers in just two days that their money was taken out from various ATMs in Agartala.

Earlier on Tuesday, two Turkish hackers had fraudulently withdrawn nearly Rs 1 crore using cloned SBI ATM cards from 45 different bank accounts in Agartala since November 15, according to a Times of India report. The theft had set off alarms in the city’s cybercrime unit, which has issued an alert to all bank customers.

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