June 26, 2022, 5:54 am

Staff Correspondent

2022-01-20 08:37:45 BdST

Turkish national arrested in Dhaka over ATM card forgery

Two men involved in an international ATM card cloning and scamming ring were arrested by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes Unit.

The arrestees were identified as Turkish national Hakan Zanburkan, 55, and Md Mofiul Islam. The two were arrested from the Gulshan-1 area of the capital on Tuesday.

Five mobile phones of different models, a laptop, and 15 cloned cards were seized during the arrest.

Hakan, the mastermind of the ATM card cloning and scam ring, attempted to make 84 withdrawals from Eastern Bank Limited's ATM booths between Jan 2 and Jan 4 using several cards from different countries, said Md Asaduzzaman, additional police commissioner and chief of the CTTC unit.

However, because of the bank’s anti-scamming system, an alarm was raised, the issue was noticed and the institution was able to prevent the fraud.

During an interrogation, Hakan revealed that he came to Bangladesh on Dec 31 and began staying at Hotel The Capital in Dhaka’s Paltan.

“Between Jan 2 and Jan 4, Hakan went to different Eastern Bank ATM booths and attempted to withdraw money at least 84 times using cloned international credit cards from nearly 40 countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, the US, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Germany, Vietnam, the UK, Canada, Bolivia, Spain, Finland and Norway,” Md Asaduzzaman said.

Hakan was arrested alongside another Turkish national and two Bangladeshi nationals in an ATM booth scamming case in India’s Assam in 2019, he said.

Before his arrest, he allegedly defrauded some Rs 1 million through cloning cards.

“Hakan spent some 20 months in jail in India before he was taken to the Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital in Agartala for treatment while in police custody and escaped,” the CTTC unit chief said.

“Then, with the help of an Indian national, he spent Rs 200,000 to travel from Sikkim to Nepal. From there he procured travel documents, returned to his home country of Turkey and created a new passport.”

His crime ring involved nationals from numerous countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Bulgaria, Mexico and India, the CTTC said.

A Digital Security Act case is being prepared against the arrestees at Dhaka’s Paltan Police Station.

Unauthorized use or reproduction of The Finance Today content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.

Popular Article from Crime & Corruption