PATTAYA – July 21, 2012 [PDN]; At 10 a.m., an arrest of two Lithuanians was announced by Pol. Lt. Gen.PanyaMamen, Commissioner, section 2; Pol. Maj. Gen. Jamnong Rattanakul,Commander, Chonburi province; Pol. Col. Panthana Nuchanart; Pol. Lt. Col.Suppachat Peammanat, Deputy Superintendent, Banglamung police station; Pol. Lt.Col.Kierttisak Sathongoy, Deputy Superintendent, Pattaya police station; Pol.Lt.Col. Paksuwat Chomthanom; Pol. Capt. Jamnong Prasopsukmungmee; and members of the police team.
The two defendants were Lithuanian nationals working with an international gang of thieves in their home country. The visitors disguised themselves as tourists and brought fake ATM cards to withdraw money in Pattaya and nearby areas in Chonburi province.
The defendants were identified as Mr. MariusGiedriunas, 22, and Mr. Dangis Valkauskas, 20. Police seized evidence that included 30 electronic cards with magnetic stripe similar to ATM or credit cards, two black caps, a green mask and 560 dollars in cash, as well as a photograph from a CCTV taken while the defendants used a fake ATM card at an ATM machine.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Dr. Panya Mamen, Commissioner, section 2, said the defendants had brought the phony ATM cards from a gang that made fake ATM and credit cards in their hometown of Lithuania. The men flew to Thailand, targeting the areas of Pattaya, AmphurSriracha and Amphur Sattahip.
After arriving in Thailand the two men spent three days withdrawing money from ATMs around Pattaya, Amphur Sriracha and Amphur Sattahip. However, not all the ATM machines gave them money.
Later, at an SCB bank in Pattaya, one of the defendants wore a green plastic mask while attempting to use a fake ATM card at the bank’s foreign money exchange machine. However, an alert bank officer notified the police, who later arrested the two while they were getting on the tour bus from Pattaya to the Bankgok airport to fly back to Lithuania.
Police took them to the center of subduing international crime, Chonburi province, Pattaya. They coordinated with many bank officers to bring evidence of the illegal ATM withdrawals, including the photograph from CCTV.
Police discovered that the defendants used the fake ATM cards a total of 149 times at ATM machines in the area. The police also escorted the defendants to their rental room in south Pattaya, and found many fake ATM cards, caps and a green plastic mask, and seized 560 dollars.
During questioning, the defendants confessed they were university students and internet experts. They bought the fake ATM cards from the gang that made fake ATM cards, and the gang told them how to withdraw money illegally. It return, the defendants agreed to give 40 percent of the withdrawn money to the Lithuanian gang.
The defendants said they targeted Thailand because of frequent news on the internet about criminals being arrested for using fake ATM cards in Thailand, especially in Pattaya. Since ATM crimes seemed so prevalent here, the Lithuanians figured it would be easier to go undetected. They also brought the plastic mask from their hometown. However, their illegal ATM crime spree lasted only three days until they were arrested, with the mask leading to their downfall.
Pol. Lt.Gen. Dr. Panya Mamen, Commissioner, section 2; issued a public plea for people to help stop such criminal behavior by noticing any suspicious behavior or people using ATMs, especially foreigners who appear to be disguising or hiding their faces. It would greatly help to notify the police immediately, so they can make arrests and reduce the problem of ATM crimes in Thailand.