Police claim it uncovered group stealing money from Sberbank payroll cards

Interior Ministry officials have uncovered a criminal group whose members stole money from payroll cards issued by Sberbank, the Interior Ministry told Interfax.

"Officers from the Interior Ministry economic security and corruption directorate and the ministry's department for the Volga Federal District, along with Sberbank's security service, have curtailed the activities of an organized group whose members are suspected of stealing money from Sberbank client payroll cards on a large scale," it said.

"It has been determined that the group included former and current employees of Sberbank divisions and also heads of a number of commercial organizations involved in the illegal scheme," it said.

A criminal case has been opened on fraud charges (Criminal Code Article 159).

The damage caused to Sberbank by the suspected fraudsters has been estimated at over 50 million rubles, it said.

Using their connections with financial institutions, the suspects obtained information on holders of bank cards, their account balances, and their passport data, after which bank cards were issued in their names by presenting false information on their employment, the ministry said. "Then the fraudsters using fictitious powers of attorney gained access to the money," it said.

"At the next stage, using the Sberbank-Online electronic system and remote service channels with one-time access codes, members of the organized group transferred money from the clients' real accounts to the bank card accounts and then turned it into cash," it said.

"Three active members of the group have been detained in a search operation, and the organizer of the illegal scheme, a Nizhny Novgorod resident with prior convictions has been identified," it said.

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