Kathmandu, Apr. 2: A man entered the ATM booth of Mega Bank in Jyatha, Thamel of Kathmandu at around 5.30 pm on Tuesday. He, however, didn’t withdraw the money and instead took out a screwdriver to open the ATM machine box and started capturing photos of the ATM box. As luck would have it, Mega Bank’s officials were watching his moves.
“It looked like he had scanned the ATM box by opening it. We suspected his activities,” said Rajesh Sharma, chief operating officer of the bank. “We also informed the police.”
Police team from Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, and Durbar Marg, rushed to the spot. Staff members were also monitoring.
Police immediately arrested him with the help of a bank employee. He had taken off the cover of the ATM. Only a bank staff can open the ATM cover with the help of a key. It was found that he had already made the keys. Ten keys have also been recovered from him.
“We could have arrested him with the help of our own bank security guard. As there was no immediate big damage, we informed the police about the possibility of a big design,” Sharma told The Rising Nepal.
The bank feared similar incidents might occur elsewhere. Earlier, various ATMs were hacked in the Capital with the involvement of Chinese nationals and a large amount of money was withdrawn. The bank speculated that a similar incident may have taken place this time as well.
The bank has suspected that he might have tried to withdraw a large amount of money by consulting with his team.
The bank has already registered a complaint accordingly, Sharma said. Police have started investigation on him.
The arrested person has been identified as 29-year-old Chinese national Yong Qialong. Police record showed that he arrived in Kathmandu only on Tuesday morning, said Kathmandu Police Chief and SSP Ashok Singh.
He was the only one to come from China and was found staying alone in a hotel, said SSP Singh.
However, police suspect that other persons might have been involved in the incident.
“What is the reason behind for a person coming to Nepal from China and entering the ATM booth as soon as he arrived in Nepal?” How can it be possible to reach a hotel from the airport and blow up an ATM right away?” SSP Singh questioned, “Maybe his team might have been staying in China, and we are investigating into it.”
On December 23, 2019, 122 Chinese nationals were arrested on suspicion of involvement in illegal activities and cross-border crimes, and were deported on January 9, 2020.
Similarly, the police have started collecting and investigating the data of Chinese nationals residing in Nepal.
Police suspect that the arrested person may have planned to get information about the technology used in the ATM and later cause major damage. SSP Singh said that the investigation would be carried out in coordination with the Chinese embassy in Nepal.
Yong had booked the hotel from China. He checked into room No. 405 on the fourth floor of Hotel Montes in Jyata and left some belongings in the room and reached the ATM.
A search of his room yielded 10 different keys, 10 different ATM cards, a drill machine, and Chinese, American and Nepali currency, among others.
–The Rising Nepal