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Gang cloned credit cards in bid to scam five million euros 

PAGE 18 Gang cloned credit  cards

Spanish police have broken up a crime ring which cloned credit cards in a bid to with draw up to five million euros from bank cash machines in a scam linked to the 9/11 attacks in New York.

The suspected ringleader, a 49-year-old Algerian man. was arrested in his home and was found to be in possession of thousands of blank and completed fraudulent cards and cash machines.

Officers also unearthed a mountain of wigs, caps and glasses he used to disguise himself in a bid to evade capture.

Police say he led the counterfeiting organisation and had previously been convicted of financing the 9/11 attacks in New York using the same card counterfeiting procedure. The idea this time was to try and get five million euros from bank machines and commercial establishments but in the end, only 500,000 euros was netted.

As part of the police operation, 19 people were arrested in Madrid.

“The modus operandi was to clone the bank cards by obtaining data in the darknet and then withdraw the money directly from ATMs or buy products in stores in bulk,” said a police spokesman. “The ringleader was in charge of obtaining the numbering of the bank cards cloned through skimming and carding. They obtained the necessary data to make the falsifications in the darknet and this information -number of cards and PIN- came from thousands of bank accounts of customers of Spanish credit institutions and also from other countries.”