5 French nationals arrested in Pattaya ATM scam

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Five French nationals were arrested for allegedly using counterfeit electronic cards to rob millions of baht from Pattaya automated teller machines.

Siam Commercial Bank fraud officials notified police Sept. 11 that their machines were being looted by foreigners using cards bearing numbers of bank customers from around the world.

Using security camera photos supplied by the bank, police staked out a number of Pattaya machines until capturing Mohamed Hebbache, 22, with 10 fake cards. He took police back to his hotel on Thappraya Road where investigators found another 132 cards.

Three of the 5 French nationals arrested in Pattaya ATM scam chained up awaiting interrogation.Three of the 5 French nationals arrested in Pattaya ATM scam chained up awaiting interrogation.

Under interrogation, Hebbache gave up the name of four other French citizens and their whereabouts.

Following the leads, police arrested Abdelkader Elhaci, 32, at his hotel with 148 cards. Beuadeilah Slami, 38, was rounded up at an ATM on South Road. Police said he tried to flee police, who discovered 10 counterfeit cards on him.

Slami, in turn, pointed officers back to the same hotel as Hebbache to apprehend the last two suspects, Clement Simon, 25, with 44 electronic cards; and Djilati Boudjelal, 30, with 50 cards.

Police confiscated the 384 cards and slapped the five with a myriad of fraud and theft charges.