KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a Chinese national, stated to be a young man, for allegedly stealing data from a private bank with skimming devices at one of its ATM facilities, it emerged on Saturday.

Sources said the arrest came after the bank management approached the FIA for its assistance when they observed suspicious activity of two foreigners at their Plaza Square branch. The management through monitoring the footages of the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed inside the ATM facility noticed that the foreigners spent an unduly long time there though for not any visible job.

“That was witnessed on June 20,” said a source citing the FIA documentation after the arrest. “On June 21, the bank management with its technical staff visited the same ATM facility and at the same time informed the cyber crime cell of the FIA for assistance and cooperation in case of an offense committed there. The CCTV footage showed the foreigner placing certain devices around the ATM which further raised eyebrows.”

The bank team, he said, during the ATM facility visit found two skimming devices, one put at the card inserting lap and the other just over the pin keypad used by consumers to type their secret identification number for transactions.

“When the FIA team reached the site, they were shown the CCTV footage and the devices recovered,” said the source. “The FIA team seized the devices and footages to plan further action. However, after a couple of hours the same foreigner visited the ATM facility again, most probably to take back the skimming devices. At that time the FIA team apprehended him and took him into custody.”

After the arrest, the FIA formally launched investigations into the matter, which revealed a few facts and helped in lodging the case against the suspect, identified as Xie Yi. He had landed in Pakistan on June 18 with a friend named Xie Rongjing.

“They were staying in a guesthouse in Bath Island,” said the source. “The FIA team visited that place as well and searched the room the suspect was staying in. The search led to the recovery of some electronic equipment, two skimming devices, each having a 16GB memory card, Chinese passports and identity cards of the suspects and different cards of Chinese banks.”

The FIA team also made attempts to arrest the other suspect and also approached Chinese diplomats and offices in the city to trace his links, said the source but he was still at large.

“After thorough investigation the officials were convinced that it was an attempt to access the bank’s data with the skimming devices. The arrested man could not satisfy the investigators and claimed that he was not aware of any such activity as he was only following directives of his friend Xie Rongjing,” added the source.

The FIA, he said, had registered a case under Sections 36/37 of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the arrested suspect and his aide at large.

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