News Flash – 19 December 2019

National News



Lookout Notice Issued against 4 Romanian Gang Members in ATM Skimming Fraud


Kolkata: A lookout notice has been issued against four of the six-member Romanian gang that was involved in the ATM skimming fraud, which robbed a number of citizens of their money in November. This move came days after the anti-bank fraud section of the detective department arrested the kingpin, Siliviu Florin Spiridon (28), a resident of Constanta in Romania. “Siliviu was helped by Tousif Mouraru, another Romanian, who was arrested by the Delhi Police. He is lodged in a jail there. Scanning the CCTV footage of ATMs across south Delhi, we have identified the four men, tally them with details shared by the FRRO on about 254 Romanians, who entered India between April and November, and finally moved court to get a lookout notice against them. This means, if those four try to cross the international borders or even attempt to sneak into Nepal, the authorities will be alerted,” said an investigating officer. Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma said all legal procedures were followed before the application was moved.



Before being rounded up, Siliviu had put up in Delhi with Mouraru, who stole card data with the help of skimmers on ATMs and then, fed the information in the gang’s laptop. Mouraru was arrested under the Foreigners Act on November 20 sent to Rohini Jail. The anti-fraud section has decided to question him after placing a transit remand prayer before the Rohini court in Delhi. “Even in Kolkata, Siliviu and Mouraru stayed together in south suburban Kolkata. The other group members put up in another location. A search is on to nab them,” said an officer. The police are also questioning an arrested Indian businessman, identified as Manoj Gupta (40) from Mehrauli in south Delhi, for allegedly supplying skimming devices to the Romanian gang. Gupta charged anything between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 for each device. “Gupta runs a car business but he is an expert in buying such items online from China-based firms. He knows international law and can buy any skimming device as he knows each of them like the back of his hand,” said an investigating officer.



Contact Cops to Fact-Check, Know about City Traffic Scene


Kolkata: If citizens need confirmation on any information they come across any media platform particularly, the social media contact the police; if people need any traffic update before heading for work or school, they should visit the Kolkata Police’s social media pages or directly call the traffic control room: in a message to Kolkatans, the police top brass have requested citizens to verify every information before relaying it on to others. With protests against CAA being reported across the state and the various rumours being spread on the agitations, the police control room has been directed to counsel residents that there was nothing to fear and to explain to them how the city had maintained overall calm, despite rallies and demonstrations. The social cell, though, has been categorically told to stay in touch with local cops and nip any rumour in the bud. “We are essentially talking about panic among residents in leaving homes on receiving incomplete or fake information or out of fear of jams. These are issues we are aiming to dispel. While protests are taking place, none has disrupted everyday life here,” said an IPS officer. All educational institutes have been told to stay in touch with cops, especially if a school shuts its bus operations for a day. Police said all guardians were free to approach them for any help. “Let us assure all citizens that no incident of violence has been reported in the city so far.



We are maintaining strict vigil. Residents are also coming forward and helping us,” said an IPS officer. Two men, Syed Jamirul Hasan and Murshid Ahmed, have been arrested for fermenting trouble in Park Circus though their lawyers, Mohd Sajid and Sk Daulat, reportedly denied their presence at the spot. Both men will be in police custody till December 21. The Kolkata Police brass seemed relieved that so far, no major untoward incident took place in the city amid the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. While they thanked the officers for keeping in touch with various communities, managing political marches and ensuring enough police presence on the streets, the seniors cautioned the teams not to be complacent. Top sources said deployment of cops in busy and trouble-prone areas as well as city’s entry points would continue to be deployed till December 21. More of community meetings, like the one arranged for Entally and Beniapukur residents on Tuesday, which saw a decent turnout, will also be held. The participants vowed to uphold peace and harmony and to report any attempt to stoke tension, an officer said. The force has also been trying to ensure smooth traffic flow. “Two major political events are lined up for Thursday, a public meeting by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Rani Rashmoni Road and Left Front rally. We have come up with alternate routes, hoping to cause least inconvenience for people,” said an officer.



10 Grenades Found at Railways Godown

The grenades found at RMS godown on Walltax Road on Tuesday.



Chennai: A parcel containing 10 grenades created a flutter at the Railway Mail Service (RMS) godown at Salt Cotaurs on Tuesday till the bomb squad established that they did not contain any explosives and were dummies used for practice by the armed forces. The parcel was lying unclaimed for the past eight months and was opened as part of the railways routine of auctioning off the contents if parcels were unclaimed for six months. Railway authorities said the consignment of dummy grenades tightly packed in a metal casing was sent by Pravin Kakde, Commandant of Central Ammunition Depot Camp at Pulgaon in Maharashtra, on March 23 this year to the Andaman’s. So how did the grenades end up at the railway godown? It turns out the address was wrong. It was supposed to go to the 172 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Madras Regiment) at Campbell Bay in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but the address read 72 INF. So the parcel booked on the Sangamithra Express was stranded at Chennai Central for nearly eight months.



On Wednesday, two personnel from the Territorial Army unit at Pallavaram, which was alerted by the movement control officer at Chennai Central, visited the godown and claimed the parcel. The Railway Protection Force has asked them to return with the relevant documents and take the parcel. Army spokesperson M Ponniyin Selvan said the dummy grenades were meant for training territorial army personnel based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “We are waiting for details from the railways and the army personnel in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” he added. A retired military intelligence officer, Rajesh Mathew, said, “The army never prefers to send consignments by RMS. Normally, they would send a team of soldiers to accompany consignments.” On Tuesday when RMS staff doing the indent for public auction found the grenades, they alerted the RPF personnel, who sent the bomb disposal squad to defuse the grenades. They found they were dummy grenades, which didn’t contain any explosive material. A railway official said the consignment “will most likely be shipped to Andaman’s this week”.

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