BANGKOK – August 4, 2012 [PDN]; At 2:30 p.m., an arrest of credit card skimming thief was announced by Pol. Col. Charoen Srisasalak, Deputy Commander; Pol. Col. Chayuth Marayart, Superintendent, Bangkhen police station; Pol. Lt. Col. Sanae Maneechai, Inspector; Pol. Capt. Phongsurawat Wongsarum, Deputy Inspector, detection officer of Bangkhen police station; and a representative from Krung Thai bank.
The suspect was identified as Mr. Mohammad Adeep, 45, from Pakistan, according to the August 3, 2012 arrest warrant of the criminal court at 1107/2555. Police arrested Mr. Mohammad at room 1913, Nasa Vegas building, Tambon Suanluang, Amphur Suanluang, Bangkok.
Three other foreigners were also involved in the ATM skimming scheme. Police are still seeking another Pakistani suspect, who is reportedly still in Thailand, while two Romanians involved in the crime have already left the country.
Police seized equipment from Mr. Mohammad that had been used to copy information from electronic cards, which included a “skimmer” machine, a small CCTV and equipment, 32 fake credit cards and many bank ATM cards, 2 fake credit cards the defendant was using, 4 USBs, 2 notebook computers, 4 sheets of paper to record ATM passwords, and 5 mobile phones. Police also seized a Honda automobile, license number WOR HOR 6335 Bangkok.
Pol. Col. Charoen said the police investigation started when they were notified of the skimming operation by Mr. Pairoj Deeraksa, senior director of security division at Krungthai bank.
Mr. Pairoj told police that their ATM machine was victimized by someone using a “skimmer,” a device that can copy the magnetic stripe on a credit card. A concealed CCTV also can record customers punching in their PIN codes.
The criminals use the stolen data to create fake electronic cards to buy goods or pay for services, damaging the accounts of credit card customers and the banks.
The equipment had been installed at the ATM machine of Krungthai Bank in front of Honda car center, Bangkhen branch, Soi Paholyothin 67, Paholyothin road, Tambon Anusaowaree, Amphur Bangkhen, Bangkok.
Later the police officers detected information from the CCTV, and discovered the suspect testing the skimmer, so the officers followed Mr. Mohammad and arrested him in his room.
During questioning, Mr. Mohammad also implicated three other friends in the ATM-skimming gang: Mr. Ratchaput Mohammad Saleem, 47, from Pakistan, and Mr. Hodorojia Mihile and Mr. Icop Radu Daniel, both Romanian. Mr. Ratchaput escaped arrest, but is reportedly still in Thailand.
However, Mr. Mohammad said the two Romanians had already left Thailand, so the police will coordinate with the Romania embassy to follow up to arrest them.
Mr. Mohammad confessed that his duty was only to test the skimmer that was installed. He was supposed to get 20 percent of total revenue each time a fake credit card was used successfully. The skimming equipment was constructed by the Romanians, he said.
Police charged Mr. Mohammad with making equipment for disguising or getting information illegally from electronic cards that will cause damage to others, and sent the defendant to the investigation officer to prosecute according to the law.
The officers also reminded people to be careful when punching in their PIN codes at ATMs, and to use their hand to conceal the code from concealed CCTVs, or nearby onlookers.
Anyone who suspects being victimized by the ATM skimmers, or had money lost in an account, can contact the detective division of the Bangkhen police station to see whether their cards match the stolen card codes.