News Flash – 9 April 2018

National News



ATM cards cloned, victims lose lakh’s


NEW DELHI: Delhi Police is worried as cases of cloning of cards and people losing money from their accounts are surfacing from various parts of the city. In the past four days, cops have got as many as six complaints of ATM fraud with people losing lakhs in a span of few minutes. In one such incident, a woman living in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar lost approximately Rs 2 lakh in 15 minutes. The miscreants made 20 transactions from her account in quick succession leaving it empty. The woman told cops that the transactions took place in the evening with multiple withdrawals taking place from south Delhi’s Bhikaji Cama Place. “The withdrawals happened when the ATM card was in my possession. Even before I could alert the bank to block my account, all the money was gone,” the woman said. A Delhi University professor also lost approximately Rs 50,000 in a similar fashion with his money withdrawn from an ATM in Hyderabad. Similar incidents were reported in the past few days from Hauz KhasLodhi Colony, Khan Market and Nehru Place. Almost all complainants told cops that the withdrawals took place in a quick span of time with many from multiple locations.


The modus operandi seen in these incidents have indicated the usage of skimmer devices, which are used to illegally copy card details while it is being swiped either at an ATM kiosk or a POS machine. Cops said that such devices have become a headache as they are available for as little as Rs 7,000. A police officer, who had earlier busted a gang who was using these devices to cheat people, said that criminals are getting their hands on skimmer devices that are made in China. “These are either procured online through various websites or through dealers selling electronic items,” the cop said, adding that multiple copies of the same card are created to withdraw money in quick succession. When browsed, many popular e-commerce websites were found offering the devices. For Rs 7,000, dealers were ready to offer devices that can be connected to a USB port and can read and copy the data of a card. Cops said they are working to crackdown on grey markets in the city where these devices are being brought from.



Blaze at Narela footwear factory kills 2 workers


NEW DELHI: Two workers of a footwear manufacturing unit in Bhorgarh industrial area in Narela died when a fire broke out in the factory early on Saturday. The victims died in their sleep due to asphyxiation. Fire department officials said that they received a call at 2.30am. Subsequently, eight fire tenders were sent to the spot and the blaze was brought under control after an hour. Witnesses said that there were around 14 people on the ground floor of the building E-909, where the work was going on. They managed to escape unhurt and no damage was reported from the ground floor. However, fire fighters recovered two charred bodies on the first floor. The two were later identified as Kuldeep (20) and Vinay (25), cousins . Their uncle is the supervisor of the unit. DCP (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta said that a case has been registered and the owner of the factory is being questioned by the police. Investigating officers said that the preliminary probe indicated that a short circuit on the first floor led to the fire. The shoe manufacturing unit was running on the ground and first floor of the building. While the ground floor was used for moulding and preparing the products, the first floor was used for storage and packaging.


Apart from this, there was a small room where, Vinay, who was working as a security guard in the unit used to sleep. His cousin Kuldeep, who came to Delhi recently, used to work in the adjacent factory. Workers said that Kuldeep used to come to the shoe factory to sleep with Vinay. A worker, who informed the fire department, said there were some sparks in the wires following which the packaging material which was lying nearby caught fire. The thick smoke quickly engulfed the room, but a major tragedy was averted as the flames did not reach the ground floor. Workers on the ground floor were unaware of the fire and left only when people from the adjoining buildings alerted them. The two victims were found on the bed, which indicated that the two died due to asphyxiation. The bodies have been sent to a nearby hospital and will be handed over to the family members who live in Uttar Pradesh. Cops are probing if the factory had sufficient firefighting measures.



Blame it on hailstorm, 279 areas plunge into darkness in Hyderabad


HYDERABAD: Thirty minutes of heavy rain and hailstorm on Friday night was enough to bring the city to its knees as 279 areas plunged into darkness. Officials said the power disruptions were caused by tree branches falling on power lines, cables getting cut and other technical problems. The mess left behind by the hailstorm was such that the call centre of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd (TSSPDCL) was flooded with calls of power outages and disruptions till late in the night and electricity was restored by midnight. Officials said power interruptions were reported in 220 areas in Hyderabad metro zone, 32 locations in Ranga Reddy east division and 27 in Ranga Reddy north division. In the Greater Hyderabad limits, falling of trees was reported in Erramanzil, IICT, Nacharam, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Chilkalguda, Asifnagar, Charlapally, Kushaiguda, NBT Nagar in Banjara Hills and Tolichowki. Snapping of cables and jumper cut caused power disruption in Amberpet, SD Eye Hospital and Azamabad industrial area. Supply was disrupted in Changicherla, Jubilee Hills, Saketh, Bowenpally, NIMS, Malakpet, Miralam, Santoshnagar, Laxminagar and Kanchanbagh owing to technical issues. “Our patrolling teams attended to all the complaints and restored power supply within two hours in many areas,” director (operations), TSSPDCL, J Srinivas Reddy told TOI. However, the damages and interruptions were less when compared to last year as trimming of tree branches has been happening since January.



Dud bomb sparks panic at Metro site



KOLKATA: A bomb resembling a hand grenade was found at the metro railway construction site at Subhash Sarovar near Beliaghata on Sunday morning. While the bomb was found to be a dud, the incident triggered a panic among the workers and residents of the area. Workers at the East-West Metro railway construction site went to work around 9.45am on Sunday when they noticed a round object by a tin shade. They immediately informed the cops and a bomb-disposal squad was rushed to the spot. The squad found a shell smeared with cloth. There was no pin or striker lever attached to it and the bomb had been soiled over time, a police officer said. “There are chances of finding foreign objects at Metro construction sites. Antisocial elements try to hide crude bombs or other illegal objects there as these are not frequented by people. We have therefore alerted workers against any unidentified objects. They will have to be more vigilant after Sunday morning’s incident,” a KMRCL official said.



Chance pe dance: Cash logistics man steals from looted ATM

Naroda police on Saturday arrested Hitendrasinh Chauhan, 25, a resident of Memco.



AHMEDABAD: In an interesting twist to the Rs 17.83 lakh theft from an SBI ATM in Krishnanagar, Naroda police on Saturday arrested Hitendrasinh Chauhan, 25, a resident of Memco and recovered Rs 8.60 lakh cash from him. The crime branch had earlier arrested Hardik Patel for the same offence and recovered over Rs 9 lakh from him. It has now come to light that the two accused arrested for the same offence don’t know each other. Inspector V R Chaudhary of the Naroda police station said Chauhan, who was working with Logicash, was sent to the ATM to check the status of cash after the bank received the message of “no cash” though cash had been loaded the same day. “Chauhan noticed that the ATM had been broken into,” Chaudhary said. “As Hardik Patel had stolen only Rs 9 lakh of the Rs 26 lakh in the ATM, Chauhan saw it as a chance to pick up Rs 8.60 lakh, thinking that the original thief would be held responsible for stealing all of the cash”.


Sub-inspector Nikul Maru said Patel had drilled a hole into the back of the ATM. “During the reconstruction of the crime, Patel showed us how he picked up Rs 2000 notes, one by one, from the small gap.” Maru said it would have been impossible for Patel to take out 2,100 notes of Rs 2000 between 45 minutes to 1 hour, the time during which he was at the ATM. Police officials said they came to the conclusion that Patel alone could not have stolen so much cash by picking up notes one by one. Hence they decided to interrogate others involved in the chain of events which followed the theft. “We zeroed in on Chauhan who was the first to visit the ATM after the message of “no cash” was received,” said Maru. “He broke down during interrogation and confessed to his crime”.



International News



49 killed in alleged chemical attack in Syria, Assad regime’s role suspected



BEIRUT/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW: Dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck the rebel-held suburb of Douma, east of Damascus, and aid groups on Sunday blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault. The attack after dusk on Saturday sent a stream of patients with burning eyes and breathing problems to clinics, medical and rescue groups said. A joint statement by the medical relief organisation Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the civil defence service, which operates in rebel-held areas, said 49 people had died in the attack. Others put the toll even higher. US President Donald Trump said there would be a “big price to pay” for a chemical attack. The Syrian state denied government forces had launched any chemical attack and Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally, called the reports bogus. “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He also took a jab at former President Obama, who declined to respond militarily to evidence that the Syrian government had gassed its own people. “If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line in The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!” Trump tweeted.


The Russian foreign ministry warned against any military action on the basis of “invented and fabricated excuses,” saying this could lead to severe consequences. The US launched a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base last year in response to a sarin gas attack in northwestern Syria blamed on Assad. One of Trump’s top homeland security advisers said on Sunday the US would not rule out launching another missile attack. “I wouldn’t take anything off the table,” White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Thomas Bossert said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week”. Activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled out on floors and in stairwells, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils. “Douma city, April 7 … there is a strong smell here,” a voice can be heard saying. State news media in Syria denied that government forces had used chemical weapons and accused the Islamist rebel group that controls Douma, the Army of Islam, of fabricating the videos to solicit international support as defeat loomed. It was not possible to independently verify the reports because Douma is surrounded by Syrian government forces, which prevent access by journalists, aid workers and investigators. Douma is in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus. Assad has won back control of nearly all of eastern Ghouta in a Russian-backed military campaign that began in February, leaving just Douma in rebel hands.


Taking Douma would seal Assad’s biggest victory since 2016, and underline his unassailable position in the war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people since it mushroomed from protests against his rule in 2011. In a joint statement, the Syrian Civil Defense and the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports clinics in opposition areas of Syria, said that more than 500 people had gone to medical centers after the assault “with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.” Those symptoms included including trouble breathing, foaming at the mouth, burning eyes and the “emission of a chlorine-like odor”. One person was dead on arrival at a clinic, six others died after they got there, and rescue workers reported finding more than 42 dead in their homes, the statement said. The bodies could not be evacuated because of strong odors and a lack of protective equipment. “The reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals,” the statement said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which did not confirm the use of chemical agents, said that 56 people, including women and children, had been killed in the past 24 hours, including 21 who suffocated in the basements of buildings that had collapsed on them. About 500 others were wounded in the bombardment, and 70 had breathing troubles, the group said.



6.1-magnitude earthquake jolts Japan



TOKYO: A 6.1-magnitude earthquake jolted western Japan on Monday, injuring four people. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the temblor occurred at 1.32 a.m., with the epicenter at a latitude of 35.2 degrees north and a longitude of 132.6 degrees east and at a depth of 10 km, reports Xinhua news agency. The quake, revised upward from a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, logged upper 5 in the city of Oda in Shimane prefecture and lower 5 in some other areas of the prefecture on the Japanese seismic intensity scale which peaks at 7. Parts of the city also experienced a power outage and had the water supply cut. The powerful quake caused some cracks in buildings and roads, local media reported, but all nuclear power stations in the region were functioning as normal and no tsunami warning was issued.

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