Biggest credit card fraud, unravelled
Police have blown the lid of an international credit card racket
where millions of rupees belonging to British nationals have been robbed
from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in Sri Lanka by using fake credit
This is the biggest credit card fraud to be detected by the local
police so far when they arrested a Chief Inspector of Police pilfering
monies from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in Sri Lanka. The money he
had robbed came to a staggering sum of Rs 4.9 million.
The Chief Inspector of police who joined the Police Department as a
sub-Inspector, rose quickly in rank and file and became the Officer in
Charge (OIC) of the Harbour Police Station at Trincomalee.
He had a clean record of service and was selected by the United
Nations for a mission to serve in Liberia. It was learnt that the Chief
Inspector had fraudulently drawn money from Automatic Teller Machines
(ATM) by using fake international credit cards of foreign nationals.
Police are investigating how he acquired the expertise and the
knowledge to rob foreign banks from Automated Teller Machines.(ATM) and
whether more persons are involved in the racket. Meanwhile it was learnt
that Police will seek assistance from Interpol to trace more suspects
involved in the fraud.
Police learnt that the suspect whilst serving in Liberia had applied
for a multiple Visa to visit the United Kingdom and was granted visa
because of his United Nations status.
After a year's stint in Liberia, the suspect had returned to Sri
Lanka. While still being on official leave, he travelled to United
Kingdom on holiday last April and returned only in December.
However it is not known what he was up to while in U.K. On his
return, to Sri Lanka he had hired a Pajero inter-cooler vehicle for a
sum of Rs 100,000 a month for his private use. Last month he travelled
to Matara with a business acquaintance from Trincomalee and checked into
a hotel at Pamburana in Matara.
The Chief Inspector had a penchant for displaying his official
uniform which was hung inside in the inter-cooler Pajero vehicle. He
knew that no one would dare to mess around with him when they got to
know that he is a policeman.
However people were suspicious of his movements and kept an eye on
him throughout his stay in Matara. His behaviour was viewed with
suspicion by the locals who tipped off the Matara police. A police team
from Matara searched his hotel room on January 15 and found cash worth
Rs. 4.6 million along with 71 credit cards in his possession.
The Chief Inspector while being questioned by the Matara police had
told them that he had earned the money abroad whilst on a United
Nation's assignment. However when they questioned him regarding the 71
credit cards, the Inspector had not given a plausible explanation which
alerted the police.
The Chief Inspector and his business acquittance from Trincomalee was
taken in for further questioning by the Matara police.
When the matter was brought to the notice of IGP Victor Perera, he
realised the seriousness of the case. He then instructed the Director,
Colombo Crime Division (CCD) SSP.
Sarath Lugoda to investigate the case. A team from the CCD proceeded
to Matara and brought the Chief Inspector and his business acquittance
to Colombo for further questioning.
The CCD sleuths while interrogating the suspect learnt that he had
drawn the money from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) from various
locations in Matale, Kegalle, Colombo, Matara and elsewhere by using
fake foreign credit cards. Police soon learnt that he had masterminded
the art of robbing British nationals without their knowledge whose
monies have been deposited at various British banks in the United
Later, a team of CCD sleuths who searched the home of the suspected
Inspector at Dematagoda were in for a shock when they discovered 600
more fake foreign credit cards along with cash worth Rs. 4.5 million
stashed and in his room.
The suspect had told the police that the money found in his room too
had been robbed from Automated Teller Machines in Sri Lanka. Several
documents containing secret numbers of British credit card holders too
have been found by the police.
Meanwhile, the Director Colombo Crime Division, SSP Lugoda said that
they are interrogating the businessman from Trincomalee to find out
whether he along with the suspect Inspector has had links to LTTE
clandestine activity. SSP Lugoda said that they were in the process of
recovering more robbed monies of foreigners, from Automated Teller
Machines in Sri Lanka.
The two suspects are being detained further in connection with the