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Credit card scam busted, suspected kingpin held

The police on Friday claimed to have busted a major credit card racket with the arrest of a Sri Lankan Tamil, said to be the brain
behind the operation in which credit cards were cloned using a skimmer, an embossing machine and other equipment.

On October 15, the police arrested Harikumar when he attempted to make purchases using a fake credit card in Perambur under the Sembium police limits. When questioned, he revealed that the barain was Umesh alias Jatti, a Sri Lankan Tamil settled in Canada who had recently come to Chennai and was staying near Porur. The police recovered four fake credit cards from Harikumar and other details about the prime accused. The case was then forwarded to the central crime branch for further investigation.

Special teams nabbed Umesh, a marine engineer, from a residence in Porur on Friday. During the interrogation, he revealed that he had got several blank credit cards sent from Malaysia by agents to his address by courier. He had also obtain the particulars of credit cards issued in Canada from some friends in that country where he had spent many years. Later, he got engraved and embossed the particulars on the empty credit cards along with false names and other details. He also prepared fake driving licences, PAN cards, passports, meant to be shown to suspicious shop-keeper while making the purchases.

The police recovered from Umesh's house 24 fake credit cards and several empty credit cards, apart from a laptop in which the credit card details about persons living abroad were stored. The sophisticated equipment used to engrave and emboss the credit card particulars on empty credit cards was also seized.

During the interrogation, the investigating officers found that Umesh had sent many agents across the state and also to neighbouring states to make purchases using the fake credit cards. "We believe that Umesh and his agents may have cheated shops to the tune of Rs 50 lakh in the state. He also informed the investigating officers that he had supplied at least 150 fake credit cards to many agents," a senior police officer said.

"This is a big racket and we have managed to arrest the kingpin. Still, special teams are on the job investigating whether more people are involved in the operation," city police commissioner T Rajendran told The Times Of India.



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