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Medical student rigged ATMs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs with modified iPhone camera in bid to steal cards


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A medical student who rigged cashpoints with hi-tech devices to seize bank cards and capture the owners' pin numbers on iPhone cameras has been jailed.

Attaul Qayyum, of London, helped transform ATMs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs into potential money spinning traps as part of a “sophisticated” ruse.

Attaul Qayyum, of London, is said to have helped transform ATMs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs into potential money spinning traps
Attaul Qayyum, of London, is said to have helped transform ATMs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs into potential money spinning traps
Attaul Qayyum has been jailed
Attaul Qayyum has been jailed

The 22-year-old was convicted of possession of articles for the use of fraud on Monday after going on trial at Canterbury Crown Court last week.

The court heard Qayyum was handed a suspended sentence for committing a similar crime in Birmingham, just three months before targeting Kent.

Residents raised the alarm after their cards became jammed inside the cash points, before one victim discovered a concealed iPhone camera recording the pin pad.

A timer and miniature iPod Nano - designed to store the elicit footage - were also connected to the “improvised recording device,” the court heard.

The camera system had been fastened to a narrow, thin, 15 cm long piece of metal, designed to look like part of the cashpoint.

When PC Proctor investigated the gadget it showed the moment Ganelshalingam and Yogeswaran fitted the camera onto a cash machine, followed by their victim entering her pin number.

The scam came to light when Daniel Edwards attempted to withdraw money from a machine in the Co-op in Broadstairs High Street during the early evening on August 21, 2020.

“He pressed the button to withdraw £20, the card didn’t come out and money didn’t come out,” prosecutor Samantha Wright said.

As the machine displayed an ‘out of order’ sign Mr Edwards immediately cancelled the card and suffered no financial losses, the court heard.

The evidence presented against Attaul Qayyum
The evidence presented against Attaul Qayyum

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old girl would suffer the same fate at a machine in Co-op in Grange Road, Ramsgate, just over an hour later.

After inserting her card it “ wouldn’t come out again,” the prosecutor explained, adding one eagle-eyed witness intervened as the machine also displayed “out of order.”

Harriet Dobson discovered a concealed iPhone camera attached to a strip of metal pointing at the pin-entry pad and alerted the police.

“On the device was a timer counting up and it was showing 17 minutes when it was handed to the police officer,” the prosecutor said.

“This is quite a sophisticated operation,” she continued.

The court heard an eye-witness who had become suspicious shortly alerted police to the Lexus car Qayyum was driving towards London along the M2.

Officers discovered a number of stolen bank cards and various tools used for fraud inside the vehicle, and the trio were arrested.

During a police interview Qayyum said he was “completely shocked” the paraphernalia was found inside his vehicle.

He denied any knowledge of the criminal activity and explained he was merely the driver during a “lad’s day to the beach,” Ms Wright continued.

She told jurors Qayyum, of Morden, was convicted of the same charge in May 2020 year, where “articles (were also) used in an ATM.”

Qayyum denied any knowledge of the criminal activity but was convicted unanimously on Monday after jurors deliberated for three-and-a-half hours.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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Peter Alcock, mitigating, said Qayyum was an “intelligent, polite, cooperative and forthcoming” university student at the end of his fourth year.

He urged recorder Trimmer to suspend a custodial sentence, pointing to a statement from probation.

“I assess Mr Qayyum as manageable in the community since his risk of causing harm is low,” it read.

But handing down a 15-month sentence today, the judge, Recorder Stuart Trimmer QC, told Qayyum: “Appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.”

The judge added he was "naively surprised" such devices had existed for fraud.

Co-defendants Thinumenan Ganelshalingam, 24, of Mitcham and Tharan Yogeswaran, 25, of Gillingham, pleaded guilty to the same charge at an early opportunity.

Ganelshalingam was handed seven months custody while Yogeswaran was ordered to serve nine months.

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