Crime file: Cops look for man who switched ATM card, stole Rs 8 lakh
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Ganesh Dutt had gone to the ATM to withdraw money for his monthly expenses. Little did he know that a small help he sought from a stranger would end up in his entire life's savings being robbed.
Eighteen months later, police claim that they have footage from various ATMs in Delhi and neighbouring states, which might help solve the crime. But for Ganesh, who works as a machine man with The Indian Express, it's little consolation — none of them are clear enough to show the face of the accused.
At 9.30 am on October 4, 2011, Dutt left his home in Jahangirpuri to withdraw money from the ATM in Northwest Delhi's Mahendra Park locality. New to plastic money, he did not know how to use the ATM card and had withdrawn money earlier only with the help of his office colleagues. However, he had decided to go that morning after his wife told him she needed money urgently to meet household expenses.
"I went to the ATM. My card was of a different bank. Since I did not know how to use the ATM, I requested a young man standing nearby to help me. The man came with me inside the ATM, withdrew Rs 9,000 as per my request and handed me my card," Dutt said.
A month later, Dutt again went to the ATM to withdraw money. It did not work. Despite repeated attempts, the machine refused to accept the pin Dutt entered. That was when he approached the bank authorities.
"Officials at the bank told me that the card I had was not the one issued with my account. In fact, it belonged to one Asha from Rohini and she had reported it stolen in a similar manner. The accused had swapped my ATM card with another of the same bank. I never suspected this could happen. So, I had not checked the number on the ATM card when he handed my card to me," Dutt said.