Nigerian priest, his assistant arrested in India for ATM cloning, 37 cloned cards recovered

A Nigerian man who earlier served as a priest at a church in Greater Noida has been arrested, along with his “assistant”, also from Nigeria, for cloning dozens of plastic cards by fixing skimming devices and secret cameras in ATMs in Delhi.

The two were arrested after a brief chase near D1 Market in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj on Friday. They had with them 37 cards that had already been cloned, 10 blank cards, and a host of devices used in the fraud, said Devender Arya, deputy commissioner of police (south-west).

The police, however, are yet to determine the scale of their alleged fraud.
Arya identified the arrested men as Oluwatoyin Isaiah, 46, and his assistant Nosa Tony — a 43-year-old man who would allegedly be given 2% of all proceeds from the crime.

“Isaiah was living on an expired visa after arriving in Delhi in 2012 on a medical visa. We recovered two passports from him. They have different names and numbers, but both have Isaiah’s photo,” Arya said.

The officer said that having overstayed his visit, Isaiah had tried his hand in the hair export business, apart from his two-year-long stint at the Greater Noida church, before coming into contact with a Bulgarian man, Eris, at Delhi airport last year.

“Eris taught Isaiah how to clone cards. They purchased a skimming device from an e-commerce site and procured the other devices a variety of sources,” Arya said.

Eris and Isaiah would allegedly fix the skimming devices and spy cameras in unguarded ATMs in Delhi-NCR. They would copy the data from a card onto the skimming device, and Isaiah would allegedly transplant this data on to a blank card. The spy cameras helped Isaiah know the PINs of these cards, the police said.

Isaiah sought Tony’s help for the second step, which the police said wasn’t as risky as the first. The latter has been living in Gurugram since last year on a business visa.

Once they had everything, all they needed to do was either withdraw cash discreetly from ATMs or spend the money in the cards for online purchases.

The two were arrested after the south-west district police was tipped off about their whereabouts. Eris remains on the run, said the police.

“They were headed to an ATM to commit a crime. Most of the items we recovered from them was found in a bag they were carrying,” the DCP said.