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Bulgarian gets 2 yrs over fake ATM card scam in Vietnam

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 11:39 GMT+7

A Bulgarian man was sentenced Friday to two years in jail by a Vietnam court for using fake ATM cards to withdraw over VND180 million (US$8,500) from banks in the Southeast Asian country last year.

>> Bulgarian, Romanian nicked in Vietnam for bank info theft >> Bulgarian caught withdrawing money with fake ATM card Todorov Yordan Valentinov, 31, received the sentence on charges of “using computer networks, telecommunications networks, Internet or digital devices to appropriate property” pursuant to Article 226b of the Penal Code, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court said at his trial.

The foreign man was arrested on October 16, 2013 while he was attempting to withdraw money from an ATM machine in District 1, HCMC with some ATM cards. On searching his room at a hotel in the district, police seized 40 ATM cards, most of them are counterfeit, and VND12.7 million ($600) in cash.

After his arrest, Valentinov told police that he arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on October 5, 2013, bringing 38 fake cards he had received from another Bulgarian man, who just called himself Ivan. Ivan asked Valentinov to use these cards to withdraw money from banks in Vietnam and promised to pay Valentinov 10 percent of the withdrawn money, Valentinov told police. Valentinov also said he did not know where Ivan lived or what job he did. Before his arrest, Valentinov had used 27 of the 38 counterfeit cards to draw money from many ATM machines of different banks in Districts 1 and 3, he said. Among these banks are Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), the Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank), the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) and the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), the convicted said. Valentinov confessed to police that he had withdrawn VND180 million in total by using the fake ATM cards.

After Valentinov was prosecuted on the above charges, his family, through a lawyer, handed in more than VND167 million ($7,890) to investigators, the court said.

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