Bulgarians held for stealing money using fake ATM cards

Three Bulgarian nationals have been arrested for stealing information from ATM users and then using fake ATM cards to appropriate money from banks.

26-year-old Dimitrov Iliyan Plamenov

Police in Khanh Hoa Province are investigating a case in which three Bulgarian men used electronic equipment to steal information from ATM cardholders and then created and used fake ATM cards to appropriate money from these cardholders.

>> Malaysian jailed 7 years for using fake credit cards
>> Chinese national gets 2.5 years for forging ATM cards
>> Chinese nationals use fake credit cards to steal money

The men are Korneev Valentin Nilolov, 53, Genov Aleksandar Simeonov, 44, and Dimitrov Iliyan Plamenov, 26. They were arrested on Sunday in the province’s Nha Trang City.

The detainees confessed that they had withdrawn VND111 million, including VND96 million from the Nha Trang Branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and VND15 million from the Nha Trang Branch of the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) since earlier this month.   

They had secretly installed equipment such as cameras and digital video recorders at several ATMs run by the above banks to steal information from ATM cardholders. They then forged and used fake cards to appropriate money from the banks.

On searching their hotel rooms, police seized 214 fake ATM cards, US$13,000 and VND105 million ($4,950) in cash, and many pieces of equipment related to their offenses.

The police are expanding their investigation to track down others involved in the case.

A similar case occurred in Hai Phong City in March when four Chinese nationals counterfeited credit cards and used them to make bank transfers worth US$228,000 and withdrew $187,500 in cash within a 10-day period, from March 16 to 26.

The detainees, Lin Li Hua, 32, Xiong Jie, 34, Lin Wel, 49, and Lin Jia Jun, 20, were arrested in May on charges of “using the computer and telecommunications network, the Internet and digital equipment to appropriate assets.”

In another case, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on April 26 sentenced Malaysian national Lim Soon Ling, 55, to seven years in jail for using fake credit cards to appropriate a total of VND451 million ($21,700).

Lim stayed in Vietnam from May to July 2011 with two fake passports and 50 fake credit cards provided by another Malaysian culprit named A Tai, who was the mastermind of the scam. A Tai has not been arrested. Lim was promised 15 percent of the money withdrawn.

From May 20 to July 11, Lim made 14 transactions at local banks using ten fake credit cards, and withdrew $19,000 and over VND56 million ($2,700) in cash.


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