Charges: 6 Wash. men cloned credit cards at Bloomington hotel

- Six Washington men are being charged with identity theft for allegedly using “cloned” credit cards to make large purchases after police found blank credit hidden in the soles of a pair of tennis shoes mailed to their Bloomington, Minn. hotel.

Airport police were called to a Fed Ex facility Thursday on a report of a suspicious package being mailed from Seattle to “Ali Khalifa” at the Country Inn and Suites at 5120 American Boulevard. Upon searching the package, investigators found multiple blank credit cards hidden inside a pair of tennis shoes.

According to the charges, credit card fraud suspects commonly use the blank credit cards they have received in the mail to emboss and embed unknowing victims’ legitimate credit card information and use the cloned cards to make multiple large purchases.

Police tracked “Ali Khalifa” to a Country Inn and Suites at 2221 Killebrew Drive near the Mall of America. Officers arrested “Ali Khalifa,” also known as 21-year-old Hasaan Ameen Khan. They also arrested the five other men found in his hotel room: Daniel 29-year-old Negase Asefaw, 25-year-old Abdurahman Adbella Mama, 25-year-old Robin Inauari Hawkins, 24-year-old Abedessa Deressa Wanjalatan and 22-year-old Anddrew Leta Ole Fua Sesifeo Hawkins.

Upon searching the hotel room, investigators found a laptop computer, a card embossing machine for creating fraudulent credit cards, numerous cloned credit cards in various names and several receipts for purchasing from local businesses.

All six men are being charged with one count of felony identity theft.

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