ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 23, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 43

Sleuths probing local and foreign credit card scams

By Asif Fuard

New techniques are used by criminals in credit card scams

The Police Fraud Bureau and the Criminal Investigation Department’s financial crimes unit have begun a manhunt for several Sri Lankans involved in credit card scams locally as well as internationally.

Fraud Bureau Director N.B Aralis said Sri Lankans who had used their credit cards in foreign countries had complained that they had found that money in their accounts had been gradually siphoned.

“Frauds normally take place when people lose their credit cards or ATM cards. But now fraudulent credit cards have been made and electronic means of hacking into bank accounts discovered. So new techniques are used by criminals,” SSP Aralis said.

“We have got reports of several Sri Lankans in foreign countries being involved in credit card frauds. Recently we received complaints on four credit card frauds out of which two were foreign credit card cases,” he said.

Last week six suspected LTTE activists in London were arrested for withdrawing nearly 15,000 pounds sterling from the account of the wife of a Conservative Party MP. Upon interrogation it was revealed that they had been using the credit card scam to finance LTTE operations.

Nearly 200 forged credit cards and 40 ATM cards had been discovered by the British police. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested in February two LTTE operatives and two Canadian accomplices for possessing thousands of skimmed British credit card numbers. The two LTTEers who arrived from London were identified as Kirubakaran Selvanayagam Pillai (38) and Sethukavalar Saravanabhavan (35).

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