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Ahmedabad Police arrested 3 UK NRIs in Credit Card fraud scheme

  • Used counterfeit credit cards and withdrew Rs 2.72 lakh from ATMs
  • Hacking accounts were from UK and several belonged to NRIs.
  • Indian unidentified person came to their hotel who handed them the credit cards and list of PINs


Gang hacks NRI A/Cs with fake credit cards

AHMEDABAD, March 02, 2007
Times of India

Three British nationals were arrested by the city police for using counterfeit credit cards and withdrawing Rs 2.72 lakh from ATMs of HSBC, Centurion Bank of Punjab and Bank of India within a span of three days. The money was withdrawn by hacking accounts in the UK, several of them apparently belonged to NRIs.

The trio — Ketan Shah, a British national of Indian origin, Foizul Khan, a British national of Bangladeshi origin, and Peter Deighan, a Briton — claimed that they are students and landed in Ahmedabad on February 26 from London.

"On arrival, they first went to Madhur Hotel on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar road, but then changed their mind and booked rooms in Hotel Grand Bhagwati. There, they were approached by an unidentified person who handed them the credit cards and list of PIN (personal identification numbers)," said deputy commissioner of police Abhay Chudasma.

These cards are blank barring the magnetic strip and the PIN written by hand on them, said Chudasma. Sources said the accused successfully hacked accounts on February 27 at two ATMs at Maradia Plaza on CG road and Indraprasth tower on Drive-In road. "They then checked out of Grand Bhagwati after clearing a Rs 41,000 bill and checked into Hotel Pride.They again withdrew money on February 28, and were detected when the ATM seized six of their cards," police said.

Assistant manager of HSBC Bhavesh Jani told TOI, "These are credit cards of Halifax Bank in the UK, and may belong to NRIs".

However, the police are yet to nab the person who gave them these cards. Investigations are also on to find out if cash was withdrawn from other ATMs. The trio were to fly back to London on March 10. The accused have been booked for forgery and cheating, said Chudasma. "As one of the accused is of Bangladeshi origin, we are probing whether this money was being used for disruptive activities," added Chudasma. Jani told the police that he got a call from his subordinate Prashant on Thursday, informing that six cards were seized by the ATMs at Maradia Plaza and Indraprasth building.

"Bank records revealed that the money was withdrawn from accounts of customers living in the UK. It was quite apparent that the cards were forged," the police said.

Sub-inspector of police JD Purohit,who is investigating the case, said, "The closed circuit cameras in the Maradia Plaza ATM clearly showed three persons, two with Asian features and one foreigner as having withdrawn the cash. We searched hotel registers and found the three matching these images staying in room Nos 308 and 608 of Hotel Pride in Satellite." The police raided the rooms and nabbed the trio, impounded 115 cards and Rs 2.90 lakh from them.

Shah's parents had moved to London from Kenya where they run a departmental store. Khan's parents are retired and he works as a temporary. Peter stays with his mother and younger sister in London.

The police believe this racket was masterminded in UK. "Ketan, apparently ran into debts and came in touch with a person who promised the trio 25 per cent of the money withdrawn from ATMs on forged cards in Ahmedabad. This person has not yet been identified," said Chudasma.

"We have informed the British embassy about the arrests and have also seized their passports, which have visas valid up to August, 2007," said Chudasma.






  • Credit card fraud costs credit card companies and holders roughly 1.5 billion dollars a year.
  • Lost or stolen credit cards make up half of the losses incurred by credit card companies each year.

Also remember losses by credit card companies are passed from the credit card companies to the consumer

The UK payments association show that overall, card fraud continued to decline in the six months to June 2006. Total card fraud fell by 5% during this period, from £219.5m to £209.3m, mainly thanks to chip and PIN.

Internet, phone and mail order fraud (card-not-present or CNP fraud) has increased but at a much slower rate than seen previously. CNP fraud now accounts for 46% of all losses but grew by just 5% year-on-year, compared to a 29% increase between 2004 and 2005.