Rapid Action Battalion arrested members of a gang using stolen credit cards from city’s Uttara yesterday.
A team from rab-1 raided and arrested Ayesha Siddiqa Urmi, 20, Uzzal Hossain, 29 and Jubaida Sultana, 32, from a house in sector12 Uttara. They recovered items worth almost Tk500,000 bought with stolen cards during the raid, director of RAB -1 Lt Col Kismat Hayder told a press briefing yesterday.
According to rab officials, the three members paid off key persons in postal and courier services to take advantage of lax delivery procedures for credit cards. The courier and postal staff left parcels that may have contained cards unregistered. Missing parcels cannot be tracked without records of arrival and delivery.
The gang used the stolen cards and pin numbers to purchase expensive items from exclusive outlets, which they then sold to unsuspecting customers, making a profit in the process. Hossain and Sultana were responsible for procuring and stealing the cards while Siddiqa went shopping with the cards.
RAB - 1wereinformedabouta woman using a stolen credit card in Uttara’s Tokyo Super Shop. They arrested Siddiqa at the store and she led them to her accomplices, who were apprehended at the house. Officials revealed they are looking for a fourthmember of the gang, who went into hiding following the arrests.
According to Hayder stores need to be vigilant to avoid being embezzled, “There are several gangs of this kind active in the city. If shops are careful about credit card transactions and verifications they can help to ensure such illegal practices are wiped out.”
According to Metropolitan Police Detective Branch (DB) and RAB intelligence, around 50 different gangs are active in Dhaka. Over the last five years, law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 20 people engaged in credit card swindles.
Gangs are said to have misappropriated millions with stolen cards. Over a thousand credit cards have gone missing in the two decades.
The illegal practice first came to the notice of police in 2006, when Kamal Ahmed aka Nurul Amin, a ringleader was arrested. Released on bail after a month he immediately resumed his illegal business. MoshiurRahman, additional deputy commissioner of DB police told Dhaka Tribune that Ahmed’s gang was suspected of stealing at least 1,200 credit cards since 1996, in collusion with postal employees across Dhaka.