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Cash keepers in ATM fraud net

Four employees of cash management major Writer SafeGuard were arrested in Jamshedpur on Thursday for siphoning of Rs 1.19 crore from automated teller machines of three banks over a period of two and a half years.

While Ranchi native Ajay Kumar Gaud and his steel city colleagues Ajay Kumar Mesrai and Manprit Singh worked as custodians — agents who load currency notes and conduct first line maintenance of ATMs — with the firm, their fourth aide Rajesh Kumar Singh was a cash van driver.

The fraud came to light during a recent internal audit of Writer SafeGuard, which showed glaring differences in the amount of cash released and the actual amount loaded into ATMs of Corporation Bank, Central Bank of India and HDFC Bank in the Bistupur area of the steel city.

The arrests were made following an FIR lodged by the cash management firm’s assistant manager (Jamshedpur operations) Dinesh Kumar. He brought the four accused to Bistupur police station around 11am. They were booked under Sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (misappropriation of money) of the IPC and arrested in the afternoon following interrogation.

Sources in the police said while Gaud was originally from Hinoo in the capital, Mesrai lived in Sonari, Manprit in Mango and the driver in Parsudih. During interrogation, Gaud is learnt to have named a couple of other Writer SafeGuard custodians as his accomplices.

Confirming the racket, DSP (police control room) Rajkishore Prasad Yadav too hinted at more arrests. “We are investigating the case, which is of serious nature. More persons may be taken into custody,” he said, adding that they were first trying to zero in on the modus operandi.

Before he was remanded in judicial custody late in the afternoon, Gaud admitted that they had been running the racket for over two years. He also said that they withdrew small amounts every 24 hours during cash refill to avoid suspicions. “If police carry out an impartial probe, then several others from our agency will be behind bars,” he added.