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FIA arrested four more suspects allegedly involved in ATM fraud case

RAWALPINDI (Monitoring Desk): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claimed to have arrested four more suspects allegedly involved in stealing data of bank customers and their money through bogus ATM, credit and debit cards.

The latest arrests came after the FIA took into custody a man, Saqibullah Khan, on Dec 8 and claimed that he was involved in the ATM fraud case and had links with hackers in other countries. A senior official told on Tuesday that the four suspects might be members of the same gang.

Withholding their names due to ongoing investigations, the official said that they had been arrested in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and two of them had been doing online import business and were allegedly involved in the ATM fraud case.

He said that one suspect was a business graduate and the others were undergraduates. The FIA also seized a skimming device which was installed in an ATM (automated teller machine) in Renala Khurd, Kasur.

“Two of the suspects were involved in stealing of personal data of account holders, while their two other accomplices used to process the data and used it for stealing the money,” the FIA official said, adding that since the FIA had launched a crackdown against the ATM fraud, the ATM users had become more cautious and were complaining to the FIA after finding suspicious devices.

A senior banker, requesting anonymity, said that he had experienced that the fixing of skimming devices in ATMs was done sometime before dawn on Friday because banks were closed on Saturday and Sunday and the device was removed by skimmers sometime on Sunday night.

He further revealed that some of the cases of the ATM skimming fraud had taken place in the Commercial Market area in Rawalpindi about an year ago but no such case had come to the notice of the bank he worked for so far this year.

He said that usually the banks avoided complaining to the FIA about the ATM theft unless the theft victim went himself/herself to the FIA or the skimming device was recovered by the bank staff members.

“Since the stolen money is insured, the banks don’t want to involve themselves in the FIA investigation,” the banker said.