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Ukrainian caught over B18mn, Phuket villas ATM skim scam

PHUKET: Police have arrested a Ukrainian man for skimming people’s accounts from ATMs in Phuket amounting to an estimated B18 million over the past four years, which police believe was used to buy two mansion villas in Phuket.

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By The Phuket News

Tuesday 12 June 2018, 03:31PM


The man, Oleksandr Volvach, 38, was arrested after he was identified withdrawing funds from an ATM in Krabi at 10:47pm on Sunday, June 3, Krabi Provincial Police announced yesterday (June 11), as reported by Ch 3 News (see here).

Police believe Volvach was working with two other individuals, who police have yet to name and yet to apprehend.

Police were first alerted to the skimming swindle by Siam Commercial Bank head office, which coordinated with inspectors from Krabi Provincial Police to track down and arrest Volvach, Krabi Police Commander Maj Gen Bunthawee Toraksa explained.

Officers then brought Volvach to his house at the high-end Ananda Lake View residential estate in Tambon Thepkrasattri, Thalang, where they seized as evidence 50 fake ATM cards as well as devices for recording and encoding electronic information to and from ATM cards.

Police also seized B7,000 and US$502 dollars in cash, as well as small denominations in other currencies.

Gen Bunthawee explained that Volvach and his two alleged accomplices came to Thailand four years ago. They later rented land and bought two large houses, together valued at about B18mn.

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“These robbers had been stealing information from cards with new and small electronic devices while cameras recorded people entering their PIN codes. These devices were installed on ATMs all over Phuket,” Gen Boonthawee said.

However, it was also not reported exactly which ATMs had the skimming devices fitted to them.

After the information was obtained, it was transferred onto fake cards and withdrawals made by members of the gang, Gen Boonthawee added.

Volvach was charged for making fake electronic cards that caused damage to people, possession of fake electronic cards for use, and using people’s electronic cards improperly.

Gen Boonthawee urged people to beware ATM skimmers by checking ATMs to see if they had unusual devices fitted to them and to take extra precautions while entering their PIN codes to prevent people from seeing the numbers entered in order to make a transaction.

 

 

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Kurt | 13 June 2018 - 14:38:31

Yes, it is thai banks responsibility. But as usual they withdraw about responsibility. The typical thai escape bulb thinking.
'Responsibility' is perhaps a word not existing in thai language, or does it?
The amount of energy put in avoiding is always something to laugh about. Actually very sad.

Paddy | 13 June 2018 - 11:29:19

The banks need to monitor their ATM's, not the customers. What about all the tourists who are not familiar with Thai ATM's.

peter rawai | 13 June 2018 - 09:18:04

All the real low life's and con men are foreigners not Thais who rip of expats and others they seem to be everywhere in Phuket and Thailand in general,lock them up and throw away the key 

Aj Raymond RITCHIE | 12 June 2018 - 17:30:49

This is probably the guy who skimmed 193,ooo Baht from my account a few years ago.  My money was taken from an ATM at Tesco Lotus up near the airport in 3 installments at 2 am.  I hope he spends a long time in a Thai prison.

Asterix | 12 June 2018 - 16:09:53

Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, etc... are the paradises for "Bad Guys" where they can grab properties and money by cheating as they want and some for many years...
We hope that Royal Thai Immigration Police will check all foreigners hiding in secluded condos, appartments and luxurious villas while driving expensive cars with pretty ladies.

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