Taklu used computer skills to hack ATMs from distant location

SURAT: The gang of Sunil Seva Ram alias Taklu had an unusual modus operandi to steal cash from the automatic teller machines (ATM). This modus operandi had not been reported in India before and hence the gang managed to remain out of the reach of police despite carrying out 44 thefts in different states, police investigation revealed.

Mastermind Sunil Seva Ram alias Taklu, who was nabbed from Agra on Monday, never visited the ATM at the time of theft. He used to be in a different location but stole the cash from the ATM using his computer skills, police said.

One team of the gang executed work on the location while the other cracked the ATM’s password sitting away. “The gang on the location opened the ATM’s top using the master key and attached the keyboard to the screen. A password was required to start administrative mode for which the gang members clicked photographs of barcode and sent to Taklu over phone,” city police commissioner Rakesh Asthana told TOI.

The mastermind then used the barcode to find out the ATM’s password. On finding the password, Taklu sent it to gang members at the ATM. The password then was used by the burglars to check balance in the ATM and to withdraw money. If a particular ATM did not have enough cash, they would not carry out the theft.

“Those employed for ATM’s maintenance use this method to check the machine’s operation. They have all the passwords with them. Taklu seems to be an expert ATM hacker who could break the password,” said Asthana.

Taklu stayed in Surat’s star hotel when his gang targeted the nine ATMs in the city. The gang members were always well dressed.

Bank officials and police were shocked to find cash disappearing from the locked ATMs. The first complaint was registered only two days after the theft


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