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Foreigners held for ATM fraud

Hundreds of fake cards seized from Malaysian and Romanian active in Bangkok and Hua Hin

Two foreign men have been arrested for allegedly using fake electronic cards to withdraw money from bank accounts belonging to people in Bangkok and Hua Hin.

Investigators from the Immigration Bureau arrested Iacob Corne, 39, of Romania, and Gim Teck We, 33, of Malaysian national, at a hotel in Hua Hin, the beach resort town in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Seized from them were hundreds of fake electronic cards, six bank passbooks and mobile phones.

The arrests were made after police, working with Kasikornbank, found that money had been withdrawn from the accounts of many people, Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said at a briefing on Friday. 

Investigators discovered that skimming devices had been installed on bank machines at various locations in Bangkok and Hua Hin, he said. Skimmers capture data from cards and the data can then be transferred to a fake card. 

According to police, the pair operated for three months in several areas in Bangkok and Hua Hin. They procured the card reading/writing devices from China and skimmers from England.

During questioning, police said, the suspects confessed to having committed the thefts, usually installing skimmers on ATMs in the morning and withdrawing money at night.

The initial investigation found many victims lost several million baht to the duo, said Pol Maj Gen Archayon.

They were initially charged with colluding to make and use fake electronic cards, while Mr Gim was also charged with illegal entry into the country.


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An immigration police officer points to a monitor showing the arrest of two ATM fraud suspects and details of the case at a briefing in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)

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