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Chinese national suspected of ATM skimming arrested in Karachi

Updated January 14, 2018

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Chinese national Xu Zhuping arrested for suspected ATM fraud in Karachi. ─ Photo by author
Chinese national Xu Zhuping arrested for suspected ATM fraud in Karachi. ─ Photo by author

A Chinese national suspected of ATM skimming was arrested in Karachi's Bahadurabad area on Sunday, while three of his alleged accomplices managed to evade capture.

The latest arrest comes days after two Chinese men were arrested for allegedly planting a skimming device at a Habib Bank Ltd ATM in Zainab Market.

A statement issued by the senior superintendent police East said law enforcers received a call early this morning about a Chinese suspect skimming ATMs at Summit Bank and Muslim Commercial Bank in Tipu Sultan Road's Shabbirabad area.

Police, who responded to the call within 10 minutes, arrested one Chinese national identified as Xu Zhuping and recovered Rs650,000, Chinese currency, ATM skimming devices, his ID card, passport and cellphone from his possession.

Three suspects, however, managed to flee the scene. Police are in the process of obtaining CCTV footage of the area and investigating the incident further, the statement said.

Incidents of ATM skimming in Karachi appear to have first surfaced in 2016. The criminals used skimmers to capture banking data off debit and credit cards.

Skimmers are physical devices that are installed over the actual ATM card slots that read the data of the magnetic strips.

Find out more: How to keep your bank account secure from ATM skimmers

Incidents of skimming seem to have become more frequent and widespread since then ─ taking place in Rawalpindi and Azad Jammu and Kashmir ─ with a bank confirming in December 2017 that over Rs10 million had been stolen from 559 of its accounts.

A bank executive told Dawn that transactions had been traced to Indonesia, China and other countries.

Several foreigners have been arrested for allegedly stealing data from banks using skimming devices at ATM facilities.