Mumbai Police have tracked down a Bulgarian national after almost a decade after he allegedly siphoned off cash from 79 bank accounts by installing skimmers and a pinhole camera at an ATM near the office of Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) at Regal circle, Colaba. Bulgarian police had last month alerted Mumbai Police about the detention of Ivanov Kalin Ivanoy who is wanted in the April 2013 case.
Mumbai Police has subsequently initiated extradition proceedings to get the accused to India and face trial. Ivanoy and Tsenev Yulian Georgiev, who were tracked down with the help of Interpol, had allegedly fitted a skimming device in an Axis Bank ATM in Colaba to siphon off around Rs 22.88 lakh from 79 accounts, including the salary accounts of 14 Mumbai Police personnel.
Bulgarian Nationals Collected Data Through Skimming Devices
The two had come to India on tourist visa on 4 April and left by 19 April after collecting data from skimming devices fitted in ATM machines. The cloned debit cards were used by the Bulgarians to withdraw money from Greece during April and May 2013.
The fraud came to light when the account holders got sms alerts of withdrawals of money from their account by people in other countries.
A case was registered at Colaba Police station for theft, cheating, forgery and conspiracy on June 14, 2013.
Total of Rs 22.88 Lakh Was Estimated Loss
Initially, a total of Rs 15.47 lakh was estimated to have been siphoned off from the bank accounts of 37 persons, including police personnel. Later, more complainants were received and as many as 79 people, including 15 police personnel, were estimated to have lost a total of Rs 22.88 lakh.
Mumbai Police Special Branch and the Immigration Bureau used CCTV footage to identify the suspects as Bulgarian nationals Ivanov and Georgiev. The Mumbai police, with the help of the Central Bureau of Investigation, then issued a lookout circular against the two followed by a red corner notice and blue corner notice.
Case Progressed After interpol's Notification On Accused's Detention
A 496-page chargesheet was also filed by Mumbai Police in August 2013 against the two.
However, there was not much progress in the case until the crime branch of Mumbai Police received Interpol’s letter about Ivanov's detention.