Police bust cash card fraud network in joint operation with Sri Lanka

Police have busted a cash card fraud network reported to have stolen more than Rf700,000 (US$45,000) in expensive luxury items through the use of forged cards.

Police have arrested and identified five Maldivians in the network as Abdul Gany Abdul Majeed, 30, Thoriq Jameel, 30, Abdulla Akram, 22, Nadheem Masoodh 32, Ali Ahmed 28.

Speaking to the press today at police headquarters, Inspector Mohamed Riyaz said that Abdul Gany and Thoriq were arrested inside a casino in Sri Lanka in a joint operation conducted with the Lankan Police.

The two arrested in Sri Lanka had VIP cards for the casino they were arrested inside, noted Riyaz, adding that Gany was arrested in possession of Rf 4845, Sri Lankan Rupees 250,090 and US$5128, while Thoriq was arrested with 31,580 Srilankan Rupees and US$500 in his pockets.

Riyaz said Ali Ahmed was arrested at Male’ International Airport when he arrived in the Maldives from India on September 20.

He added that some of the credit and debit cards they had forged were made to resemble membership cards for certain venues and were hard to identify with a cursory glance.

Thorig, a shareholder of a famous movie shop ‘Club Infinity’, had membership cards of the shop which was actually a debit and credit card, Riyaz told the press.

Riyaz said some of the cards were made in the name of customers of banks in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, China and France – cards that appeared in the form of Maldivian cash cards but had the data of foreign banks’ customers encoded to them.

Police confiscated the electronic machines used to conduct the fraud, which the police said had the ability to obtain all information of any magnetic card and edit the information.

Police believe they might have used the cards and bought products from other countries as well, and said that they may have connection to a foreign network.

Police have been investigating the fraud network for six months, Riyaz noted.