Bulgarians, German arrested in 20 million baht ATM card scam

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Four Bulgarians and a German were arrested for allegedly stealing 20 million baht from Siam Commercial Bank ATMs with counterfeit electronic cards.

Responding to a call from the bank’s fraud department that a gang of thieves were hitting ATMs all over Pattaya, Chonburi Provincial Police dispatched officers to stake out cash machines around the city, eventually spotting the suspected gang members near Soi Potisan in Naklua April 5.

Four Bulgarians and a German have been arrested for allegedly stealing 20 million baht from Siam Commercial Bank ATMs with counterfeit electronic cards. Four Bulgarians and a German have been arrested for allegedly stealing 20 million baht from Siam Commercial Bank ATMs with counterfeit electronic cards.

Arrested were German Palmen Ivanov Hlebarov, 45, who was suspected of being the ring leader and was caught with seven fake cards on him. Also apprehended were Bulgarians Stefan Nikolaev Savovski, 38; Iliyan Aleksandrov Ininski, 37; Diana Dianova Dimitrova, 20; and Gergana Hristova Krekmanova, 27. The four Eastern Europeans were caught with a total of 36 bogus ATM cards on them.

At an April 6 press conference, Chonburi Police Superintendent Maj. Gen. Jumnong Rattanakul said the cards were cloned from tourists in Finland, England, Germany and China.

He added that Hlebarov had confessed to leading the gang to Thailand to withdraw funds from ATMs and that they had already taken more than 20 million baht.

All the suspects were charged with producing and using counterfeit electronic cards.