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After Assam, suspected cybercriminals from Turkey have stolen huge amounts of cash from ATMs through ATM card-cloning devices installed in Tripura’s capital Agartala, police said on Monday.

According to the police, banks and other sources, over 60 bank customers of different banks – mostly State Bank of India (SBI) – during the past few days lost lakhs of rupees due to the fraudulent acts of the cybercriminals and ATM hackers.

Tripura police’s Cyber Crime wing Superintendent of Police Sharmistha Chakraborty said that as per their preliminary probe the Turkish nationals who had taken out lakhs of rupees of bank customers through ATM-cloning devices in Guwahati in August are also involved in similar hacking in Agartala.

“We are collecting complaints of bank customers from various police stations and different bank branches to gather the information and other details of stolen cash of many bank customers from ATMs through ATM-cloning devices,” Chakraborty told media persons

She said according to their information available, the suspected Turkish nationals after pilfering money from the several ATMs left Tripura for Kolkata.

“Our probe is on. If necessary we would take help from other agencies of concerned states where similar crimes took place,” the official added.

According to local media reports, over Rs 80 lakhs of several customers were stolen from several ATMs during the past few days in Agartala.

SBI’s Regional Manager Dibyendu Chowdhury said that they have so far received complaints from 45 customers that they lost their money due to ATM hacking.

Chowdhury said that the SBI has blocked a number of ATM and debit cards of its customers as precautionary measures.

According to a cyber-technology expert, the ATM card cloning system comprises a spy camera, a memory card and a small data device to gather ATM and account details of bank customers. Recently, two Turkish nationals involved in the ATM hacking were arrested in Mumbai.

Incidents of stealing money of a large number of bank customers from ATMs through ATM cloning devices took place in different parts of the country including Kolkata and Guwahati.

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