A Sri Lankan Muslim was jailed for two years and nine months when he confessed that he was black mailed to work for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to clone 500 credit cards of British customers for the banned terrorist group to steal 175,000 British Pounds.
The Petrol station cashier Abdul Samad Mohamed Raik, a Sri Lankan national told a Leicestershire, England court, that due to a loan given to him by the terrorist group and due to his inability to pay back the loan he was forced to work for the terrorists and help them clone 500 credit cards of customers who bought petrol at the Jet Petrol station where he worked.
In his evidence to the court he said he was given a forged Indian passport by the LTTE to flee the country and escape the consequences of the case, but he did not.
In this case it was revealed that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam withdrew money using ATM machines amounting to 175,000 British Pounds from the accounts holders from various cities in the world in India, Malaysia, Canada, United States, and Australia to bank roll terrorism and war in Sri Lanka.
It was also revealed that the terrorist group using card accounts withdrew money and also bought various goods illegally for their cause.
Unsuspecting customers who bought fuel at the Jet service station, in Houghton-on-the-Hill, were unaware that cashier Abdul Samad Mohamed Raik used a cloning device when processing their card payments. The cloning device was similar to a pin hole camera. In Britain, credit cards cannot be used with a pin number for added protection. So, both the credit card number and the pin number had to be cloned for the crime.
His trusting employer also was not in the know that the scam was taking place, Leicester Crown Court was told.
When perturbed customers saw money had been withdrawn from their accounts from countries they had never visited and complained, Police launched a major investigation. The dozens of customer complaints said their cards had been used as far away as Australia and Malaysia, the Leicester Mercury, the local newspaper reported at the time.
Raik, a 33-year-old Sri-Lankan national of Gilbert Close, Rushey Mead, Leicester, was jailed for two years and nine months after pleading guilty to the fraud between October and December 2007. He also admitted possessing the false Indian passport.
Justin Wigoder, prosecuting the case, said Raik worked at the filling station for 13 months. The owner, the prosecutor said, was "completely unaware" of any problems until last December, when two customers contacted him saying records for cards used at his petrol station showed unusual foreign transactions.
The defendant was seen on Close Circuit Television swiping cards through a cloning machine so the details could be used all over the world. About 500 cards' details were obtained in total, the prosecutor said.
Raik left his job in December, but gave himself up to police in March 2008.
He claimed he became involved in the grand credit card fraud after running up a œ3,000 debt with a loan shark who was part of the Sri-Lankan terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers, who had threatened him when he struggled to make payments following the birth of his daughter in 2007.
He also handed in a false Indian passport bearing bogus details and his photo, saying he was given it by the Tamil Tigers of the scam to help him flee the UK.
Raik was forced to dishonestly clone the cards, using a machine they gave him, to pay off the debt and for no personal gain, Raik added giving further evidence.
When customers began complaining, and the situation was getting hot he left the job.
Recorder Duncan Smith said: "It was a gross breach of trust to your employer, who is a businessman relying on the good faith of his staff and on the custom his customers bring him.
"One doesn't know how badly his business will be affected or if some people will choose to go elsewhere for their petrol.
"Even though you had the wherewithal (the false passport) to spirit yourself away from the jurisdiction you handed yourself in to the police and made the investigation easier. You made a clean breast of what you'd done.
"It was a huge fraud and your involvement in it was brought to an end by yourself after a relatively short period of time."
Immediately after the whole scam was exposed, The Leicester Mercury newspaper said that garage owner and mechanic Jim Funnell delivered letters to every household in the village apologising for the scam, and urging anyone who had been affected to contact police if they had not already done so.
Sympathetic villagers sent him cards and letters pledging their support.
In 1999, Raik applied for entry to the UK as a student, which was granted until October 2005.
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