CHONBURI — Police in the resort town of Pattaya say they have arrested a Spanish citizen involved in an ATM card skimming scheme.
Fernando Manuel Navaro, 56, has been installing skimming devices in a number of ATMs around Pattaya and stealing data from credit cards, said Pol.Maj.Gen. Sanit Mahathaworn.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Sanit said Mr. Navaro used the data to create copies of the ATM cards and withdraw large amounts of money from the victims' bank accounts.
A police raid on Mr. Navaro's residence reportedly turned up one ATM card skimming device, 109 copies of ATM cards, and more than 1,000 blank ATM cards.
Police did not say how much money was stolen through the scheme, but Pol.Maj.Gen. Sanit placed the figure at "tens of millions baht."
Mr. Navaro is charged with producing counterfeit electronic cards and possessing a device to produce counterfeit electronic cards. If found guilty, he could face up to six years in prison and a 100,000 baht fine.
According to Pol.Maj.Gen. Sanit, Mr. Navaro said he worked for a "Romanian gang" in Pattaya.
"He was hired by the Romanians to skim these ATM cards for 15,000 baht," Pol.Maj.Gen. Sanit said.
ATM skimming is a common crime in tourist areas in Thailand. Police have advised the public to check for any suspicious signs on ATMs — such as loose number pad — before they withdraw their money.
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