News Flash – 12 December 2019

National News



Police Issue ATM Alert; Accused Gives Aides’ Info


Kolkata: The city police has issued a new advisory on Wednesday informing ATM users about the various dangers of skimming. The development came on the day that Romanian Siliviu Florin Spiridon, 28, arrested by the anti-bank fraud section, revealed that two of his associates who are absconding have access to over 350 databases of ATM users, several of them from Kolkata. They also have 55 plastic cards where stolen data has been uploaded. The cops have spoken extensively about the keypad overlay technique that Romanians are specializing in, along with skimming. “The use of a keypad overlay placed directly on top of the factory-installed keypad is a fairly new technique that takes the place of a concealed camera. Instead of visually recording users punching in their PINs, circuits in the fake keypad stores the actual keystrokes,” the advisory stated. This is being used along with the hidden camera and the skimmer, which now have become common. Police have also warned of the use of live PIN-cameras that transit data instantly. Cops have asked all victims to forward their complaints to the anti-bank fraud helpline number at 8585063104. Meanwhile, Kolkata Police officers said Spiridon had been using the dark web to send money back home instead of the conventional online money transfer methods. “He has sent one bitcoin from New Delhi to Romania sending out the Kolkata victims’ money, worth Rs 5 lakh, in the process,” said an officer. Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma said the accused had also converted another Rs 1 lakh into Euro and withdrawn Rs 20,000 so far. Cops have got vital leads in this regard from his online wallets, laptop and cellphone.



“He had exchanged over 300 messages written in their language, which are being studied with help from interpreters,” said Sharma. Spiridon also named his two associates one out of the five was arrested by Delhi police and shared their new addresses. “The two men had withdrawn money along with Spiridon from south Delhi areas, like Kalkaji, Safdarjung Enclave and Saket. We are raiding these places,” said an officer. “The accused had bought the skimmers from a China-based online firm. Spiridon was aware this could be traced and tried to move to Noida or Ghaziabad. Though he failed, it seems his other gang members succeeded,” said an officer. Spiridon claimed he had come to India to visit the Taj Mahal and was “attracted by its history”. “He has travelled a lot, including Mumbai and Kanyakumari. These trips were sponsored with the money he had skimmed since March this year,” the source added. According to cops, the accused visited India every one-and-a-half months from March 20. He used tourist visas on March 20, July 19 and October 14. Used to a lavish lifestyle, cops seized 24 caps, around a dozen branded sunglasses and a huge stock of expensive clothes, along with the latest iPhones and other gadgets from Spiridon. A police team has been stationed in Delhi to carry out further raids and ascertain the identity of the three other Romanian men who were part of Spiridon’s group.



Fire Crackers Cause Four Blazes in City Since Tuesday



Chennai: Fire crackers burst during the Karthigai Deepam festival triggered four fire accidents in the city and suburbs since Tuesday. The blazes occurred at Kancheepuram, Thiruvottiyur, Kasimedu and Velachery. A woman died of burns, when her house in Velachery caught fire from a Deepam she had lit on Tuesday. In another incident, a commercial complex in Kancheepuram was gutted in the wee hours of Wednesday. A godown containing resin and sponge made the blaze worse. No one was injured in the accident. Police said the godown was owned by Radha Krishnan of Kancheepuram. He owns a foam shop on Gandhi Road. He had turned the third floor into a godown and stored most of his foam materials there.



On Tuesday, around 9pm Radha Krishnan closed the shop and returned home. Around 10.30pm, many residents called him after they spotted smoke bellowing out of the third floor of the building. The fire and rescue team doused the fire after an hour. Police said that many people were bursting crackers on the occasion of Karthigai Deepam and a rocket fell into the godown causing the fire. Police said foams worth several lakhs were gutted in the fire. Vishnu Kanchi police have registered a case. In another incident at Thiruvottiyur, at least 13 cattle suffered burn injuries after fire engulfed a thatched hut where the animals were kept. Twenty chicken were burnt alive. In another incident, fire gutted a portion of a garbage segregation unit at Kasimedu late on Tuesday night.



International News



6 Dead, Including Shooters, in Attack on US Jewish Store



New York: Two armed individuals targeted a New Jersey kosher grocery in an attack that killed six people, including the shooters, though the motive of the attack remains unclear, public safety officials said on Wednesday. A police shootout with two people armed with high powered rifles erupted after midday on Tuesday in Jersey City, New Jersey. The six dead included three civilians, one police officer and both shooters, authorities said. The four-hour gun battle at the Jewish JC Kosher Supermarket erupted after the pair shot the police officer at a nearby cemetery, which they fled in a white van. “They exited the van and they proceeded to attack this location in a targeted manner,” Jersey City public safety director James Shea told a morning news conference. “With the amount of ammunition they had, we have to assume they would have continued attacking human beings if we hadn’t been there”. The NYT reported that a suspect involved in the shooting had posted anti-Semitic and anti-police messages online. Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop ordered police to be on high alert to protect Jewish neighbourhoods following the attack.

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