Sunday, August 17, 2008


After a week, a British criminal court has convicted a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) agent, who is non-Tamil, for cloning 500 credit cards at a gasoline filling station. A special unit of the police raided a factory that produces chips that will be inserted into card reading machines as a mole, better suited for the crime than the pin hole cameras used earlier.

A week ago, Abdul Samad Mohamed Raik was convicted by the criminal court of Leicestershire for helping the LTTE to steal 175,000 British pounds from ATM machines all over the world. Barely a single household on Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire escaped the Tamil Tiger scam.

Two other Muslim men, Ibrar Hussain and Mohamed Mahmood were arrested when Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime unit of the Metropolitan Police of London raided at Burmingham a “sophisticated counterfeit card factory” as described by the police. Police said so far they do not know whether the two men arrested are connected to a terrorist organization.

In this method, unlike in the earlier method of recording the credit card and pin numbers with a pin hole camera-like device while a customer buys merchandise at a filling station or a shop, the criminals would remove the card reading device, insert a mole inside and replace it at original places.

The police said the devices they install inside the card reading machines are so high-tech that they could transmit the card numbers and the related pin numbers to a mobile phone.

Cards are then cloned and used abroad in countries including USA, Italy, Australia. In most countries, like in Britain, they do not even need numbers to withdraw money using credit or debit cards.

A raid on houses found stolen chip and pin terminals, card account numbers, card readers and counterfeit magnetic strip cards.

The criminals either by getting employment at filling stations, shops, etc. stole card reading machines, installed the “moles” inside and put them back at their original places. The police said they removed the machines by intimidation or bribes to the staff. In other cases, they have posed as engineers and removed the machine for an “upgrade.”

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