Tourist police involved with ATM skimming gang sacked

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BANGKOK, Nov 19 – Thailand’s Tourism Police have sacked an officer arrested for involvement in a transnational ATM skimming gang.

Tourist Police Division Commander Pol Maj Gen Apichai Thi-amart said Pol Sen Sgt Maj Nontapan Saengsuk, 37, a Tourist Police officer, was dismissed from the agency following his arrest.

Pol Sen Sgt Maj Nontapan was caught in Nakhon Ratchasima, together with two Russian men using an ATM ‘skimmer’ to hack information from their victims’ credit cards and making counterfeit credit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs. Some Bt2.8 million cash and 328 counterfeit credit cards were also seized.

The Thai police officer served as driver who took the Russians to withdraw money from ATMs, for which he received 10 per cent of the cash.

Pol Maj Gen Apichai said a probe committee has been set up to investigate the alleged malfeasance of the officer, and his superiors for negligence in supervising their subordinates. The probe is intended to discover if more police officers are involved as accomplices.

They will have 30 days to explain their actions to the committee, Gen Apichai said, adding that disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty

Sen Sgt Maj Nontapan was a tourist police officer for almost seven years and performed in many cases, he said.

Gen Apichai said the national police chief has instructed him to supervise the tourist police agency more carefully and said that he will convene a meeting of his subordinates on Saturday.