Three Nigerians who allegedly cloned visa cards and unlawfully withdrew money from the bank accounts of several individuals have been arrested by the Cantonments District Police in Accra.
The suspects — Tony Anderson, businessman; Seun Okhon, student, and Kelvin Benedict Aesida, a car dealer — are said to have illegally withdrawn a total of GH¢22,450.
Cloning of cards means the creation of identical cards.
Illegal immigration status
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Cantonments District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Mr Alex Kumangtani, said the suspects had so far failed to prove their professional status with the requisite documents.
He further stated that the suspects did not have passports or any documents from the Ghana Immigration Service, making their stay in Ghana illegitimate.
According to Mr Kumangtani, the suspects belonged to a complex criminal network that specialised in cloning visa cards for criminal activities.
The modus operandi
He said the suspects executed their illegal but well-crafted plan by installing electronic devices at several automated teller machine (ATM) centres.
These included a rectangular-shaped device that contains two mobile phone batteries, a camera lens and some wires.
Mr Kumangtani said that particular device was installed at the upper section of the ATM and it captured the code number of an ATM card when it was being used by an unsuspecting ATM subscriber.
Another device, which he said was green and oval shaped, was installed at the card insertion point on the ATM.
He said that device retrieved all the security data on the ATM card used by the unsuspecting card user.
Those two devices, according to Mr Kumangtani, enabled the suspects to transfer all security details of an original ATM card onto another fake card for onward illegal money withdrawals and purchases.
Arresting the criminals
According to Mr Kumangtani, on November 23, 2013, the three suspects went to a mobile phone shop at the Accra Mall and purchased five phones, valued at GH¢22,450, using nine cloned visa cards.
The Retail Manager of the shop, on satisfying himself that the suspects were acting suspiciously, called the police.
When they were arrested, a thorough search was conducted on them and items suspected to be cloned visa cards were found on them.
Source: Daily Graphic