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Police hunt suspects after B138k skimmed from the same ATM in Phuket

The hunt is on for suspected skimmers after more than a dozen victims reported money missing from their accounts after using the same ATM in Phuket, though police admit the suspects most likely have already fled to Malaysia.

police, crime,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 20 May 2017, 11:53AM

The alarm was raised after 15 people reported unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts after they had all used the same ATM in Phuket (see story here). 

All 15 victims held accounts at Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and all 15 regularly used an ATM in front of the SCB branch near the Si Kor Market in Kathu.

“We had reports from 16 victims. One victim lost B900 but the losses ranged up to B63,000 for one person,” Kathu Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Amponwat Sangruang told The Phuket News.

The total amount stolen from the accounts amounted to B138,200, he said.

The initial report was filed with police last Thursday (May 11).

“We have already informed the Siam Commercial Bank branch manager of the incidents. We are investigating the reports and checking CCTV to try to identify and track those responsible,” Col Amponwat confirmed on Monday (May 15).

One additional report noted that a person had noticed an unauthorised withdrawal after the person used a Kasikornbank (KBank) ATM, but Col Amponwat on Wednesday (May 17) dismissed that report as unrelated.

“Many of the victims told police that the funds had disappeared from their bank accounts on the evening and into the night of May 10,” he said.

The money was withdrawn from the accounts via a Government Savings Bank ATM on the Malaysian border in Sadao, in Songkhla Province.

“I believe the perpetrators crossed the border and fled into Malaysia,” Col Amponwat said.

“We are checking CCTV footage from the ATMs. We have also contacted police in Sadao,” he added.

Col Amponwat confirmed that the ATM inspected by police was one of the three in front of the SCB branch near the Si Kor Market.

However, Orannicha Saesue, manager of that SCB branch, said she could not identify exactly which ATM was inspected by police.

“We really don’t know which ATM. We just know the incident happened in this area,” she said on Wednesday.

“Some ATMs are other (people’s) responsibility, not directly (the responsibility) of our branch,” she added.

“We have not dismissed this incident. We have already issued new ATM cards to the victims and the bank returned (the amounts stolen) to them immediately,” Ms Orannitha said.

However, at the time of going to press it was not clear whether footage recorded by CCTV cameras at the bank provided any images helpful to police, or if the cameras were working at all.

“Other details, I don’t know what police have done in their work on this. We have cooperated with them by providing information already,” was all Ms Orannitha was willing to divulge.

“Today (May 17), I received a police request for the victim’s statement information. I will respond to them soon,” she added.

“Our advice to customers is to inform us directly of any such incidents. Our system can track all transactions made,” Ms Orannitha said.



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Kurt | 20 May 2017 - 20:03:30

It is easy, worldwide, to skim outdoor ATM's.
Good piece of advice: Only take money from ATM's inside buildings. ( inside Banks, shopping centers, etc,) 
Leave street side ATM's alone!

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