The Kurar police have dismantled a gang involved in deceiving individuals under the guise of helping them withdraw money from ATMs. The gang, active across Mumbai since 2020, has committed similar crimes, resulting in over 16 FIRs being lodged against its members in various police stations. The accused, identified as Pradum Yadav alias Pappi (24) and Vivek Pandey alias Vicky (23), both from Bihar, were apprehended, while another accomplice, a sibling of Vivek Pandey, remains at large. The police seized 117 ATM cards from the accused.
According to the police, Pradum Yadav orchestrated the gang's fraudulent activities, specifically targeting vulnerable groups such as the poor, laborers, illiterates, and senior citizens. Their modus operandi involved posing as helpful individuals at ATMs, engaging targets struggling to withdraw money. While one member distracted the victim, another skillfully extracted cash using cards. Sometimes, they swapped cards, claiming machine malfunctions and handing over fake ATM cards, ultimately withdrawing money from the original cards.
Gang's latest victim
Recently, businessman Zakir Arodia fell victim to the gang when attempting to withdraw Rs.30,000 for his son's school fees at the State Bank of India's ATM center near Shagun Mall, Gokul Dham Branch. The accused posed as helpers and cheated him of Rs.30,700. Another case on December 3 involved businessman Budhiram Vitkar (27), who went to the Axis Bank ATM center near Fish Market, Shivaji Nagar, Malad East.
Prompted by these incidents, the police launched an investigation, scrutinizing CCTV footage and using technical assistance to identify an individual named Santosh Bhavan from Nalasopara. This led to the arrest of Pradum Yadav and Vivek Pandey. Pradum Yadav admitted to their crimes, and the accused have a history of multiple cases filed in police stations across Kurar, Virar, Tulinj, Achole, and Pelhal. Senior Police Inspector Shashikant Jagdale stated, "We seized 117 ATM cards from various banks. They have been involved in the same crime since 2020." Assistant Police Inspector Pankaj Wankhede and his team executed the operations under senior police officers.