Swede, Filipino busted for ATM scam

A Swede and a Filipino have been arrested on charges of making fake ATM cards to steal cash in major cities across Thailand.

The men have stolen an estimated 10 million baht after they arrived in Thailand three years ago, police alleged.

The suspects - Per Johan Robin Bentley, 29, and Martin Philip Javellana Magno, 31 - were apprehended after allegedly using bogus credit cards to buy goods at a Tesco Lotus Kham Tiang branch in Chiang Mai Monday.

The suspects initially were found in possession of dozens of fake cards. A subsequent search of their hotel room in Chiang Mai discovered about 500 cloned cards, an ATM skimmer, two spy cameras and assorted equipment used to produce fake cards.

Most of the plastic used data from credit cards issued in foreign countries.

Deputy commander of Provincial Police Region 5 Tanitsak Teerasawat said the investigation was launched after Kasikornbank staff notified police that someone was using bogus cards with stolen customer numbers to withdraw money from its ATMs in Chiang Mai.

He said the probe found the suspects were staying at a city hotel. Investigators then tracked the gang for several days and nabbed them after they used cloned cards at Tesco Lotus.

Police said Mr Bentley and Mr Magno confessed to robbing ATMs in several big cities, including Hat Yai, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. They previously operated in the Philippines and South Korea, with their equipment was bought from China.

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