IGP orders CID to track foreigners hacking ATM machines | Daily News

IGP orders CID to track foreigners hacking ATM machines

* Robs over Rs. 10 million from 3 ATMs in South
* Takes cash after affixing sticker to cover security camera

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has commenced a comprehensive investigation under the orders of the IGP to trap a group of foreigners who hack Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and steal money.

They are said to enter into booths where the machines are installed and they connect an electronic device to it. Preliminary investigations conducted by Galle, Hikkaduwa and Baddegama police stations have revealed that they carry out this theft by hacking into the machine’s software system and taking all the money inside the machine.

These foreigners had hacked three ATMs of a State bank located in Hikkaduwa, Karapitiya, and Baddegama during early hours in the morning of December 30 and stolen more than Rs.10 million, Police Media Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said.

The police also said that these foreigners attempted to steal money by entering an ATM machine of another state bank located in Narahenpita on December 26 and damaging it. Investigations have revealed that this theft is carried out by these foreigners wearing masks and caps so that their faces cannot be recognized at ATMs.

Information about this theft has been revealed after the money was stolen from the ATM when it still indicates in the machine’s data system that there is money in the ATM still.

A high-ranking police officer said that the bank officials were able to discover information about this theft first, when investigating the fact that the machine showed that there was money even when there was no money and since none of the bank customers had used their cards to take out money though all the money had disappeared.

These foreigners had entered the bank in Hikkaduwa and hacked its ATM on the December 30 at around 1.40 am. They had arrived in a car and stayed there for a while and continued to take out all the money that was in the ATM at that time. The amount of money taken out of the ATM machine thus was Rs 4.68 million. Then they had gone to the ATM in Karapitiya at around 3.22 in the morning, and entered the room where the machine was located and hacked it, but had been able to get only two hundred and seventy five thousand rupees.

That had been due to the fact that the guard at the bank had become suspicious as to why the two foreigners were inside the ATM booth for a very long time. As a result, they had left with only the money they managed to get out of the ATM at that particular time.

The third robbery has taken place at an ATM in Baddegama.As before, they had hacked the machine and stolen Rs 5.7 million. Investigations have revealed that these foreigners enter the ATM booth with the help of a small device they have. It had become apparent that this device had been connected to the ATM when a transaction was attempted using a bank card.

These foreigners loiter near an ATM and when a customer obtains money from it they enter immediately afterwards and connect their equipment to the machine and then engage in the theft.

They carry out the theft after affixing a sticker to cover the security camera installed on the machine. In the investigation done on the number plate of the car in which these foreigners were travelling, it has been found that the car belongs to a person from Gampaha.

However, the type of car registered under this individual from Gampaha is different. Accordingly, it is clear that the theft was carried out by a car with fake number plates. A senior police officer said that these foreigners have come from Ambalangoda and it appears that they have arrived and left Galle using the expressway. It was mentioned that an investigation is being conducted in this regard as well.

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