Banks asked to close 'vulnerable' ATMs at night
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 7: Of late, thieves across the State are increasingly trying a new method to get their hands on cash. They’re no longer swiping stolen cards in automated teller machines. More and more thieves are swiping the machine itself.
With ATM thieves getting more and more brazen, the Assam police has issued an advisory, asking banks to shut down some ATMs in Guwahati at night which are vulnerable to theft. This after a police survey identifying “vulnerable” machines in the city.
“Most of these ATMs which are vulnerable are located in remote and far-flung areas where police presence is minimum,” said a senior police officer.
The survey also found several banks flouting guidelines while setting up the machines.
“Many of the ATMs have been set up in a careless matter. They violate the minimum security guidelines and can be removed easily. Even an unskilled thief can remove the machine or break it open,” said the officer.
There have been a number of ATM thefts in the State of late. Over ten cases have been reported in Guwahati this year alone. In many cases, the ATMs were lifted and taken away in vehicles.
In Sonitpur district, robbers looted seven ATMs in a single day.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently expressed concern over growing cases of ATM theft. On the directions of the Chief Minister, the OCs of Azara and Morigaon police station were placed under suspension following repeated cases of ATM thefts in their areas. The Doomdooma OC was also transferred for the same reason.