The Kochi police on Friday arrested a man for allegedly stealing money from ATMs in Kochi via 140 transactions made by using a fiber object in different ATMs of the South Indian Bank.
The accused has been identified as Mubarak who hailed from Uttar Pradesh.
As per the complaint registered with the police, the accused had allegedly stolen Rs 25,000 in seven transactions on August 18 and 19.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police mentioned that a complaint for inability to debit the amount from the ATM was lodged while they were trying to withdraw it from the South Indian Bank ATM in Kalamassery.
The police said that the clarity of theft was observed after scanning CCTV footage of the bank that showed the "accused getting inside the ATM to take hold of the money after the account holder came out following the failed attempts of money withdrawal."
"The accused used a fiber object for this purpose. He was inserting this object inside the ATM machine before any account holder arrives. This object would hold the money that came from the ATM. As soon as the customer left the ATM, the accused would go inside and take the money," DCP S Sasidharan said.
The money was stolen from the ATMs of South Indian Bank. "We have to check if the cash dispensation mechanism of any other ATM was also obstructed this way. He has made about 140 transactions in the said way," he added.
Sasidharan further disclosed that the accused Mubarak was involved in similar crimes in UP as well.
"He confessed that he has been carrying out ATM theft in Kerala since August 18," DCP said.
Further investigation is underway.
Issuing clarification on the matter, the South Indian Bank's statement read, "the South Indian Bank Ltd (SIB) at this moment issues clarification on some media reports concerning incidents in the Bank's ATMs, located in Ernakulum City and its vicinity."
"As soon as these stray incidents were reported in our ATMs, the Bank took necessary measures to prevent such incidents and forthwith filed a police complaint before the Kalamassery police station. The bank had also filed a complaint before the Director General of Police (DGP) and before the City Commissioner of Police, Ernakulam, requesting to nab the culprit/s involved, at the earliest," as per a statement by the bank.
The statement further said, "Police have shown great alacrity and arrested the accused involved in the stray incidents on August 26, 2022, and thus averted repetition of such incidents in other Bank ATMs."
"All the complaints received from the customers connected to this incident have been duly attended to and the Bank has refunded the amount," as per the statement.
"Additionally, the Bank has proactively identified, such incidents and without waiting for the customer complaints, refunded the amounts," the bank said.