ATM fraud syndicate busted

A couple walks out from a branch of the Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia’s biggest bank, in Kuala Lumpur’s financial district, on September 27, 2001. — AFP pic
A couple walks out from a branch of the Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia’s biggest bank, in Kuala Lumpur’s financial district, on September 27, 2001. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Police busted a syndicate where a Polish man and two others retrieved ATM pin numbers and bank card’s information to make withdrawals overseas.

KL commercial crime department chief ACP Izany Abdul Ghany said police acted on information received in two separate incidents whereby a skimming device was found on ATM machines in Times Square and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

“A user noticed the device while making a transaction at an ATM in KLCC and immediately reported it to the centre’s security guard,” he said.

The incident occurred on Dec 18 and was followed by another report on Wednesday by a security guard appointed by one of the country’s top banks.

The guard noticed the device on the machine’s panel while doing his rounds at 2.30pm and quickly informed the police.

The Polish man, believed to be in his 30s, was caught red-handed at 4.30pm the same day, while trying to remove the device from an ATM machine in KLCC.

“They installed the device in the morning and remove it every evening to avoid detection.”

Izany said based on a closed circuit television (CCTV) recording, they believe the foreigner was working with two other European men.

“We are tracking the other two and we believe they are still in the country.”

The “skimming device” is believed to cost around US$8,000 (RM26,400)

Police have requested the help of Interpol as they believe the syndicate also operated in neighbouring countries.

The suspect has been remanded until Jan 6 while the case is investigated for cheating and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property.

Meanwhile, Izany advised members of the public to be careful when withdrawing money and to be on the lookout for   foreign elements placed on ATMs.

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