Police arrest Ukrainian in fake card scam

Police arrest Ukrainian in fake card scam

Suspect was planning 'massive ATM attack'

A Ukrainian man has been arrested in connection with a transnational fake credit card scam which involves acquiring cash by launching attacks on ATMs in Thailand.

Oleksandr Karchkovskyi, 31, who was a member of a Ukrainian bogus credit card ring, was caught on Wednesday while allegedly using his fake credit card to purchase products at a shopping mall in Pratunam.

Immigration Police Bureau (IPB) chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said the arrest was conducted by IPB investigators after more than 10 million baht was stolen from the state-run Government Savings Bank's ATMs nationwide by a Russian transnational crime gang late last year.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said that after Mr Karchkovskyi was apprehended officials inspected his rental room in Ratchathewi district and found information involving a plan to launch a massive electronic attack on ATMs across the country on his laptop.

He planned to use malware programs to tamper with ATMs, forcing them to dispense cash.

The inspection also found 56 plastic cards with magnetic strips on them and a large haul of paraphernalia used to produce counterfeit credit cards.

Mr Karchkovskyi reportedly told officials that he acquired information of US and European credit card holders from CreditCard Mafia, an international credit card scam network.

The probe found Mr Karchkovskyi overstayed his visa.

He entered the country on March 11, last year with a tourist visa which was valid until March 25.

Meanwhile, Chon Buri immigration police have also detained Roland Georg Ilmer, 57, an Austrian man, for allegedly colluding with Chinese drug traffickers to use Thailand as the gang's base to direct the smuggling of 98 kilogrammes of marijuana from Switzerland to Austria.

Mr Ilmer, an alleged key leader of a transnational drug trafficking ring, was arrested in his rental room at the Pattaya Community Housing Project in Bang Lamung district on Jan 31.

According to officials, Mr Ilmer was wanted by Interpol.

Thai authorities launched a probe into the gang after they received a tip-off from an Austrian embassy official that Mr Ilmer was lying low in the country.

The probe found Mr Ilmer's visa had expired.

He arrived in Thailand on Aug 7, 2012 with a tourist visa which allowed him to stay in the country until Oct 5 the same year.

Also on Jan 23, Liu Xi Feng, a 45-year-old Chinese businessman, was nabbed in the same province in connection with a fraudulent bidding process for a power plant in his home country.

Mr Liu was accused of colluding with nine other companies in offering a bribe to Chinese authorities to enable his construction firm to win the bidding worth 32 million Chinese yuan (150 million baht).

The investigation found Mr Liu entered Thailand on Nov 30, 2016, through  Suvarnabhumi airport.

His tourist visa expired on Jan 28.

The three transnational criminals were also banned from entering Thailand in the future under the Immigration Act.


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