Le Meridian staffer turns out to be a fraudster
By Ankit Sharma
Jun 25, 2008
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Credit card fraudsters never seem to end. Police have blown the lid of a unique credit card fraud, involving an employee of Le Meridian Hotel and several traders. The police have detained three traders from Surat suspecting them for their possible role in the unique Rs one-crore credit card fraud unravelled by the anti-dacoit cell at Hotel Le Meridian a few days back. The police suspect them of knowingly accepting duplicate credit cards.

Besides, the Pune police have said that one of the accused, Wasim Salim Patel (21) was a cashier with Hotel Le Meridian. What is startling is that Wasim, who actually copied the credit card details in his pocket-size "card reader", had received the best employee award last year and was recently promoted to the post of an auditor some time before the racket was unearthed.

Recently, the police had nabbed a group of four, including Patel, for stealing details of 33 premium credit card owners, who had visited the hotel over a period of time.

The methodology employed by the suspects was to copy the credit card details of the customers on magnetic strips of blank and to block those credit cards using computer technology. Using this method, they had prepared 33 duplicate credit cards and used it for shopping costly items from various shops in Mumbai and Surat.

Anil Kumbhare, Deputy Commissioner (crime), told the media that the police have communicated with the multinational banks regarding the fraud.

Senior police inspector Sunil Pawar pointed out that some credit cards prepared by the accused clearly appear like duplicate ones. Inspite of that, the accused were allowed to shop using these cards. Hence, there can be certain traders involved with the fraud too. "We suspect they too could be a part of the fraud," said Pawar.

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