Tripura: Turkish cybercriminals hack ATMs, flee with huge cash; 28 cases registered

Debraj Deb
Four skimmer machines were recovered from four State Bank of India (SBI) ATM kiosks in Agartala. (Representational Image)

Tripura Police registered at least 28 cases of ATM fraud in the last two days after four skimmer machines were recovered from four State Bank of India (SBI) ATM kiosks in Agartala. According to the police, two Turkish cyber-criminals were behind this.

Speaking to, Sadar (Agartala) Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Dhruba Nath said, “We have registered at least 28 complaints of ATM fraud in different police stations under Sadar sub-divisions. There might be more complaints in other areas too. We have identified two persons from video footage of CCTV cameras from ATM kiosks. They were Turkish nationals who, we suspect, executed the crime in connivance with Indian crooks.”

As per latest reports, around Rs 30 lakh has been stolen from bank accounts of people in Agartala alone. However, sources said the cumulative quantum of loss may cross Rs 1 crore.

Nath said a master case is also being registered, in which all the individual cases would be incorporated. A lookout notice for both the suspects has also been issued. However, it is learnt that both suspects departed from Agartala from November 14.

In a post on their social media page, Tripura Police Crime Branch said, “…so many cases of ATM card cloning have been reported at various police stations. Just now it has been learnt that the fraudsters used skimmer devices at the ATMs in Indranagar, Battala and Kaman Choumuhani. Customers with ATM cards of different banks are requested to block their accounts and change their pins as early as possible."

The State Bank of India has blocked several ATM cards of their customers as a precautionary measure. The bank has received around 50 complaints of ATM thefts till now.

SBI issued a press release requesting its customers to remain calm and advised them to approach their respective bank branches in case of any financial loss due to ‘card cloning’.