57 complaints registered in two police station areas, says official

A case of major ATM fraud has surfaced in Kolkata with about 57 complaints registered in two police station areas where 12 lakh has been taken out from different bank accounts of the complainant over the past two days.

“Fiftyseven complaints have been received so far. Fortyfour cases of fraudulent withdrawals were received by Jadavpur police station. The Charu market police station recorded 13 complaints on Monday,” Joint Commissioner (Crime), Kolkata Police, Murlidhar Sharma told journalists on Tuesday.

Over the past two days people have been flocking to the two police stations alleging that thousands of rupees are being withdrawn from their accounts. Mr. Sharma said the fraudulent withdrawals were from Delhi and a team of the Kolkata police has started its work.

The police suggested that the withdrawals could be linked to a gang of “Romanian or Turkish” nationals who were involved in frauds last year using skimmer devices at certain ATMs here and were arrested.

The police said they have obtained CCTV footage and are working on the matter. “We have also spoken to bank officials, so that we can return the money to the affected depositors fast,” Mr. Sharma said, advising card holders to change their pin numbers at least once every six months.

Local police stations have been asked to check the ATMs, especially those without any security guard, twice daily so that “nobody can put any skimming device”.

The issue also created an uproar in the political circles where both the Trinamool Congress and the Left leadership blamed the banking system and the Centre’s insistence on linking Aadhar with bank accounts to these frauds. “The incompetent NDA government is responsible for these frauds being committed on bank depositors. Mamata Banerjee had apprehensions about all these,” Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said. Describing the fraud a serious issue, CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakraborty said data of the people is not safe and the banking system is crumbling.

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