Two ATM looters nabbed in Nayagarh

Nayagarh: Odagan Police on Tuesday arrested two persons for fraudulently withdrawing cash from the account of a college teacher from an ATM counter.

The arrested duo has been identified as Manoj Sahu and Basant Nayak of Odagan area of Nayagarh district.

Police seized several ATM cards and cash from their possession.

Giving details to the media, IIC of Odagan Police Station, Rama Chandra Sahu said Sukant Kumar Nayak, a lecturer of Odagan College, had lodged a complaint that cash worth Rs 18,000 had been fraudulently withdrawn from his account by some unknown persons from the SBI ATM counter at Odagan on March 11.

“Acting on the complaint, police immediately rushed to the SBI Odagan branch office and asked the Branch Manager to provide the video footage of the bank’s ATM counter. While examining the footage on the same day, police found suspicious movement of two persons near the bank. As the photo of one of the persons matched with the person withdrawing cash from inside the ATM counter, we began a manhunt and caught them and brought them to the police station. During interrogation, the duo admitted their involvement in the loot along with their associate who hails from Bhubaneswar,” the IIC said.

He said Manoj, who is the kingpin of the racket, is involved in a series of ATM loot from different places with the help of his associates. More than 20 cases are pending against them in Kabisuryanagar, Kodala, Aska, Purushottampur, Jankia, Khurda and Kharavelanagar (Bhubaneswar) police stations.

The IIC also informed that Manoj has looted cash worth over Rs 10 lakh from several ATM counters.

Talking about the modus operandi of the accused, Sahu said they usually target counters having dual ATMs with no security guard. “The accused block the ATM key pad with the help of a pin or a matchstick and wait for a customer who leaves the counter after failing to withdraw the cash without pressing the ‘cancel’ button of the ATM. Later, they activate the ATM key pad after pulling out the pin or the matchstick and take out the money from the account of the customer through his ATM PIN number and the password,” he added.

He said the police had seized the video footage and submitted it in the court.

The IIC said the people should be made aware of such crimes. “The customers should press the ‘cancel’ button if they fail to withdraw cash from the ATM counter. They should always prefer ATM counters with a security guard on duty. While withdrawing cash from a dual ATM counter, they should always press the ‘cancel’ button of a counter if it is not active,” he pointed out.