Romanians held with 795 ATM cards

Lumpini police apprehended two Romanians with 795 fake ATM cards and were investigating the pair on suspicion they had used the forged cards to withdraw money from cash machines in inner Bangkok.

Pol Maj Gen Suebsak Phansura, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 5, said the two men were spotted riding motorcycle taxis near the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly in Klong Toey district on Tuesday afternoon.

The police said the men were acting suspiciously and asked to search them. One held many ATM cards, so officers accompanied them to their room at a hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 11 for a further search.

By Tuesday evening, according to Pol Maj Gen Suebsak, detectives had seized a total of 795 ATM cards from the two men, along with a data skimmer.

With cooperation from Siam Commercial Bank, it was shown that 431 cards had data while the other 364 cards were blank. The bank estimated possible damage of 100 million baht if the two men successfully used all cards to withdraw a maximum amount from ATMs.

Police said the men admitted they were hired for 500 euros apiece (22,250 baht) to withdraw money using the fake cards.They said the cards were embedded with data hacked from banks in Italy. They claimed they were caught before they had withdrawn any money on Tuesday.

However, police investigators said the two men detained, along with an accomplice also living at the Sukhumvit address, had withdrawn around one million baht from many ATM machines. Police were examining closed-circuit camera footage which showed two men with similar appearance to the arrested Romanians, but both denied the CCTV showed them.

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