• Thursday, Nov 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:55 am

Police, bank authorities in dark over ATM fraud

  • Published at 09:13 pm June 2nd, 2019
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Three of the six arrested ukranians who were caught from Hotel oilo Dream Heaven in Panthapath on Saturday, June 1, 2019 Nuruzzaman Labu

Found no transaction details on server

Two days after a group of foreign nationals withdrew Tk3,00,000 from a private bank, police and bank officials say they are still in dark on how the incident took place from the ATM booth without recording any transaction details on the server.

Detective Branch of Police on Saturday night arrested six Ukranian nationals from Hotel Olio Dream Heaven at Panthapath after two of them withdrew the money from a Dutch Bangla Bank ATM booth on Friday night.

Although CCTV footages showed two of the foreigners withdrew the money, surprisingly no account of that transaction was recorded in the bank server.

More than one member of the fraud gang is still at large, police said.

About 25m customers of the bank on Friday experienced serious trouble as they failed to make any transaction via its ATM booths.

DBBL has the most booths with 4,763 in the country, with over 26,765,000 clients under its 184 branches.

DBBL managing director Abul Kashem Md Shirin said the suspension of service for two hours was for network problem and has no connection with the arrest of fraud gang.

“It is not a card cloning incident at all. We are still trying to assess what has happened and how it happened,” said the bank's MD.

Stealing money from ATM booths by foreign nationals is nothing new in Bangladesh. Police earlier arrested Chinese and European nationals over ATM scamming in the country. 

Earlier in 2016, Ukraine born Piotr Szcdepan Mazurek, who entered Bangladesh with a Polish passport, was arrested for ATM fraud.

During interrogation, he told police that an international gang based in different East European countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland and Africa is also active in different Asian and African countries in fraudulence activities.

A 2018 study by Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) says 62% of the country’s scheduled banks are vulnerable to cyber attack while 28% of the banks have no arrangement for dealing with such attack.

Most of the fraud activities take place via electronic delivery channels, such as mobile banking, ATM and plastic card transactions. 

After analyzing 50 fraudulent cases in the banking sector, the study found 43% of the incidents took place by means of automated teller machines.

Bangladesh Bank data shows about 14.66m debit cards and 1.13m credit cards are in circulation in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Bank Spokesperson and Executive Director Serajul Islam told Dhaka Tribune that they are yet to get any information on the latest ATM fraud.

“A number of foreign nationals were earlier arrested in ATM fraud in Bangladesh. But how the latest incident took place without any record of transaction in the bank server is not clear as I am not notified of it yet,” he said.

Khandaker Nurunnabi, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch (East) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told the Dhaka Tribune that they have failed to extract information from the detained nationals because of language barriers.

“They (Ukranian) can only speak Russian languages. We are trying to seek help from interpreters”, he said.

All the scheduled banks have been asked to submit a report on any such fraudulence activity in recent times, he added.