At least four persons, including a foreigner, were arrested overnight in Bangladesh on charges of embezzling millions of dollars by manipulating ATM booths in the capital.
"After an intensive investigation we have arrested Piotr Szcdepan Mazurek, who was born in Ukraine, claimed to be a German and carries a Polish passport...He admitted his involvement in the ATM booth frauds along with the detained three bank employees," a police spokesman said today.
He, said the passport Mazurek carried appeared to be a fake one and police have gathered "adequate" evidence that he stole a huge amount of money by installing skimming machines at ATM booths in connivance with the three bank employees who worked with City Bank's IT division.
The foreigner told the police that he had came to Dhaka on a business visa last year which expired recently but he preferred to stay back and married a Bangladeshi hotel employee.
Dhaka metropolitan police, meanwhile, issued a statement saying Mazurek belonged to a gang of international fraudsters including a Ukrainian and Bulgarian who had planned the theft.
"The Detective Branch (of police) is investigating the scam," the statement said.
Earlier this week police said they suspected an East European involved in ATM forgery, days after a series of frauds rattled banks and customers.
"We kept five foreigners with nearly identical appearances under surveillance for the past few days...We are nearly confirmed that at least one of them - an East European -- is one of the culprits," a police spokesman told newsmen.
The private Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) on February 12 detected 21 suspicious card transactions after fraudsters with a fake EBL card used one of the ATM booths of another private bank, United Commercial Bank Ltd, which sounded off the alarm in UCBL's system.
Bank officials said the fraudsters installed skimming devices on February 7 and withdrew money from personal accounts of a number of people on February 11.
The development today came after Bangladesh Bank, three commercial banks and police analysed video footage of four ATM booths which were skimmed off at least Taka 2500,000.
Police said the amount could run into millions of dollars.
Bangladesh Bank, however, compensated the victims of the fraudulence under a special arrangement.
As many as 40 bank cards were cloned to withdraw Tk 2 million, according to media reports citing police sources.