As many as six persons were arrested in Maharashtra’s Thane district for allegedly stealing credit and debit card data of people, including foreign nationals, using the information to book flight tickets and rooms in five-star hotels and selling the same at cheaper rates, police said on Friday.
Acting on a tip-off, personnel from different police stations formed special team to trace the accused, who have been operating for a long time, assistant commissioner of police Crime, Ramchandra Deshmukh said.
The mastermind of the racket Sameer Kasim Shaikh operated from a rented room in Mira Road, and the police raided the premises on Wednesday, the official said.
The police seized 14 mobiles, 55 SIM cards, 25 fake Aadhaar cards, 11 cheque books, 13 credit/debit cards and 24 notebooks containing stolen data, he said.
Five more accused were subsequently arrested and an offence under section 420 (cheating), among other provisions of the IPC and IT Act were registered in this regard, the official said.
A probe revealed that the accused had cheated some companies and four offences had been registered against him with the Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai, Meghwadi, Versova, and the Crime Branch between 2006 and 2012.
The accused acquired credit card details from some persons, obtained SIM cards on fake names and booked domestic and international flights and rooms in five-star hotels, before selling these later at discounted rates to people.
The police seized several documents from the accused, including details of 4,718 credit and debit cards, which were used for over 1,000 flight and hotel bookings, the official said.
Three of the accused were arrested from Mumbra area, while a call centre employee, who stole data from foreign nationals, was arrested from neighbouring Mumbai, he said, adding that another accused was apprehended from Jaipur, Rajasthan.