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Karachi police have arrested four Chinese nationals suspected of ATM skimming fraud and have recovered Rs2.3 million and 350 ATM cards from their possession, Clifton Superintendent Police (SP) Dr Asad Malhi said on Sunday.

Dr Malhi said that the police acted on information regarding suspicious activities of a group of Chinese men in Defence Phase-II area on Saturday night and arrested the three men, however, two other accomplices managed to escape.

One suspect linked with the group was later arrested on Sunday evening on information provided by the three men, DawnNews reported.

The Clifton SP said the group appears to be a part of an organised gang which employs young Chinese men for skimming frauds. The suspects were handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), he added.

The incident takes the toll of Chinese men arrested this week in relation to ATM skimming frauds in Karachi to six.

Earlier in the week, two Chinese men were arrested for allegedly planting a skimming device at a Habib Bank Ltd ATM in Zainab Market while another was arrested today in Bahadurabad.

On the rise in recent days, the 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.


With additional reporting by Mairaj Akhter.