|Saturday, 01 March 2003|
by Sarath Malalasekera
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing the massive credit card racket is seeking the assistance of the Interpol Headquarters and other agencies to arrest the king-pin of the racket.
The CID has already informed Interpol and other agencies regarding the racket and given them full details about the forged credit cards.
Investigations directed by the CID, DIG Lionel Gunatilleke and conducted by a special team headed by SP Nimal Kulatunga revealed that foreign experts in the Credit Card System are here to assist them in the investigations.
The CID has also alerted all the State and Private Banks in the country regarding the forged Credit Cards belonging to foreginers are being used by Sri Lankans.
All State and Private banks had assured the CID that they will render all assistance to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the massive racket.
On Wednesday the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge N.M. Macki Mohammed cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to Ambalvaner Nithiyanathan Rajah of Wellawatte, a suspect in the credit card fraud case, and remanded him till March 11 on an application made by State Counsel Gihan Kulatunga who appeared for the prosecution with the CID.
The State Counsel told court that the suspect is alleged to have been involved in a number of forged credit card cases and to cancell the bail bond and remand him pending the completion of the investigations.
The suspect Nithiyanathan Rajah was on anticipatory bail in Rs.10,000 and a bond of Rs. 1 million with two sureties.
The Judge directed the CID to file a further report in connection with their ongoing investigations on March 3.
Earlier, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detected a massive fraud of International credit cards- 'Visa and Master Cards'- following the arrest of two youth from Wellawatte and Maradana.
The special CID has recovered seven such forged Visa and Master cards in the names of several leading businessmen including those from London and Canada, from the possession of the suspects.
The Modus Operandi of the suspects were to collect information about a foreign billonaire businessman through E-mail with the assistance of the suspect's friends abroad and feed that information to the 'Skimming Device' and prapare forged credit cards.
Investigations revealed that one of the suspects had come to Sri Lanka after two years in London with several items of sophisticated computer equipment including the 'Skimming Device'. Investigations revealed that over Rs.70 million had been obtained through these forged credit cards.
The CID will question several leading Sri Lankan businessmen who are alleged to have been involved in the racket.
The CID special team is looking for more suspects who are alleged to have assisted the suspects now in custody to prepare the forged credit cards.
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