Wasan Siakson, 40, was arrested in Chiang Mai last week after security cameras videoed him allegedly using a stolen ATM card to withdraw money from a victim’s account.
Police say Wasan, who owns a restaurant in Koh Lanta, Krabi and a fish pond in Chiang Mai, had stolen from ATM machines for 15 years. He was caught in 2000 and served three years in jail for the crime.
When freed, the thefts started again. Police said the banks mostly kept quiet – worried that publicity about the thefts would affect the bank’s reputation.
No one knows how many millions the man has allegedly stolen from ATM machines over the years. But his bank records going back three months showed he was making at least B150,000 a day from somewhere.
Police said Wasan placed toothpicks in ATM card slots to trap the cards of people who tried to withdraw money from the machines.
Believing that the ATMs had malfunctioned and kept their cards, the victims left the scene.
Police said Wasan, who always made sure that he was standing in the queue right behind the victims, peeked over the victims’ shoulders and memorised their PIN codes.
After the customers left, he would remove the toothpicks, take out the cards and use them to withdraw the victims’ money.