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ATM Fraud: Police hunting for a Bangladeshi linked with Ukrainians

  • Published at 11:51 pm June 19th, 2019
ATM fraud_Suspected Bangladeshi youth
Police suspect the Bangladeshi youth, in red circle, might be involved in helping seven Ukrainian nationals withdraw money from ATM booths illegally in Dhaka Collected

The detectives have been analysing the video footage captured by CCTV cameras at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on May 30

Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is now looking for a suspected Bangladeshi youth in connection with the stealing of money from ATM (automated teller machine) booths of a private bank in the capital recently by seven foreigners.

The detectives have been analysing the video footage captured by CCTV cameras at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on May 30, DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman told Dhaka Tribune.

In the video footage, it was seen that seven Ukrainian people were talking to a Bangladeshi youth, wearing white T-shirt, at the canopy gate of the airport. They also talked to the on-duty security personnel, and left the airport, he said.

On May 31, detectives arrested six Ukrainian citizens from a hotel in the capital’s Panthapath area for embezzling huge amounts of money by hacking the ATMs of Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), the official said.

However, another Ukrainian, Vitalli Klimchuk, escaped when the raid was conducted, and he remains on the run. 

The intelligence officials believe that a syndicate of Bangladeshis are involved with the ATM heist. Vitalli Klimchuk might have managed to escape arrest with the help of the locals. 

Police suspected that the arrested are a part of an international syndicate with which several Bangladeshis are involved. 

The arrested are too clever, said police officials adding that they (foreigners) are not acknowledging their involvement with the heist, although they were shown the video footage taken from the ATM booths, and the are also ignoring many questions during the interrogation. 

DMP DB’s Additional Deputy Commissioner, Shahidur Rahman Ripon, told Dhaka Tribune: "We are soulfully trying to identify all the members of the syndicate, and to uncover the whole mystery."

Investigators meet NCR experts

Thye officials and experts of NCR Corporation, the company that supplied the ATM machines, came to Dhaka from abroad to investigate the incident. DMP senior officials and NRC corporation members held a meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday in this regard, said DMP DB’s Joint Commissioner (JC) Mahbub Alam.

Wishing anonymity, some officials who were present at the meeting said, detectives have been examining the ATM machines, and the cards they have recovered from the possession of the arrested foreigners. At the same time, they have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US to find out what type of technology is used in those cards. 

When police learn of it, they will be able to ensure stronger cyber security, so as to avoid further fraudulent activities, officials said. 

The NCR Corp delegation will examine the ATM machines, and also the server system of the bank to find where the fault is... in the ATMs or with the servers, said Mahbub Alam.

The officials of the NCR corporations told detectives that such kind of incidents were earlier reported in India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

They have suggested the bank to use special kind of anti-virus and anti-spam software to avoid any further fraudulence, but the bank did not pay any heed to them due to high price of the software, said the DB official.

The software that the bank use is not capable of preventing such level of hacking, he added. 

Two foreigners, wearing masks and caps, withdrew money from Dutch-Bangla Bank's ATM booth in Badda on May 31. They withdrew around Tk3 lakh. Similarly, two others were trying to withdraw money from a Taltola booth in the Khilgaon area. In Khilgaon, the security guard caught one person named Denys Vitomskyi.

According to police and DBBL, around Tk14 lakh was stolen, from nine booths of the DBBL, by this ring. There have been no effect in the server system of the bank about the money withdrawn. Even, the withdrawn money were not deducted from any customer's bank account.

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