Card-cloning racket in Pune: 3 petrol pump staffers arrested for stealing card data of customers

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The trio used a skimmer device to copy the debit card information, said police. (AP Photo/Representational)

Four persons, including three petrol pump staffers, have been arrested by Pune City Police’s cyber police station in connection with a debit card cloning racket.

Police have identified the four accused as Mithun Alo, Noyan Shaikh, Saimuddin Ali and Zulfikar Ahmed, who are from Malda district in West Bengal. All of them live in Pune’s Wadgaon Sheri.

According to a press release issued by Senior Police Inspector Jayram Paigude, the cyber police station had started receiving an increasing number of complaints in the last 15 days about money being withdrawn through debit card transactions without the knowledge of the bank-account holder.

While going through the complaints, the police team found that most of the complainants had visited a petrol pump in Pune Camp area in the days before the cash withdrawal from their accounts.

Further investigation led to the detention of three staffers, Mithun, Noyan and Saimuddin. All three had started working at the petrol pump only three months ago.

Probe revealed the three staffers used to steal debit card data and the pin number of customers at the petrol pump. The trio used a skimmer device to copy the debit card information, said police.

After obtaining the information, the three accused allegedly passed it on to their accomplice Zulfikar.

Zulfikar, a former petrol pump employee, was nabbed from Wadgaon Sheri.

According to police, it was Zulfikar who brought Mithun, Noyan and Saimuddin to Pune and arranged jobs for them at the petrol pump. He used to forward the card information to his Delhi-based aides Guddi and Rohit, who made cloned cards using this information, said police. The cloned cards were then used to withdraw money from the bank accounts of the petrol pump’s customers.

Police have so far recovered seven cell phones, 20 fake debit cards and 12 original debit cards of various banks, an Aadhaar card and other items from the accused. Police said they have confirmed that the four accused were involved in at least six crimes, and they are suspected to be part of a larger racket.