Five eastern European criminals were believed to have hacked into the Government Savings Bank’s ATM system with the use of a malware virus and escaped with about 12 million baht in cash, Pol Gen Panya Mamen, a senior advisor of the Royal Thai Police, disclosed on Wednesday.
The gang has already left Thailand and the police would seek cooperation from the Interpol to track them down, he said.
From the investigation, Pol Gen Panya said the gang released malware virus to the automatic telling machines in Phuket. Once a machine was infected by the virus and when a fake card was inserted into the machine, all the cash in the machine would flow out, he added.
The virus then spread to another 21 ATMs in Surat Thani, Chumporn, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Petchaburi and Bangkok.
The pattern of the hacking by the gang was similar to the one which happened in Taiwan in July, said the police general, adding that the gang had made several trips into Thailand before the thefts which took place on August 8.
As for a similar incident in Phang-nga province in April in which thieves escaped with over four million bath in cash stolen from ATMs, Pol Gen Panya said police were yet to determine whether the hackers were the same gang.
The Royal Thai Police will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue with parties concerned in order to mete out preventive measures against the electronic thievery.