PATTAYA – Police have arrested a gang of 10 Thai and foreign men suspected of looting more than 20 million baht from Pattaya automated teller machines using counterfeit cards.
Transnational Crime Coordination Center officers announced the apprehension of the three Thais, four Ukrainians, two Belarus nationals and an Iranian July 27. Two vehicles, 70,000 baht, notebook computer, skimmer, seven card data strips, record books and 348 fake ATM cards were seized.
The arrests came after a complaint from Siam Commercial Bank that two groups of men were hitting ATM machines throughout Pattaya using fake cards. After obtaining security-camera photos, police were able to arrest Phanudet Jaemsai, 30; Iranian Ahmad Farsi, 37; and Belarus natives Viachaslau Miadzvedzeu, 37; and Andrei Hliakau, 35, at a Siam Commercial ATM machine on Soi Chaiyapruek.
Another group of investigators nailed Attapol Janthanont, 28; Pairat Jermsongnern, 28; and Ukrainians Mykola Akhtemiichuk, 25; Ivan Georgiiev, 27, and Grygoriy Myronyul, 37, at another ATM on Soi Khao Talo. During the arrest, Akhtemiichuk resisted and was injured.
Following interrogation, the suspects gave police information to arrest suspected ringleader Oleg Safonov, 24, as he walked on Jomtien Beach.
Police said gang members were operating out of rooms at the C.K. Residence Hotel and B.J. Holiday Lodge, using cards cloned from victims in Europe to steal 20 million baht from ATMs in Thailand.
Police said Phanudet confessed that he and the other Thais worked as drivers for the Eastern Europeans and their Thai criminal connection, who remains at large. Each of the drivers would get 5 percent of the haul while their Thai boss would get 10 percent. The Europeans would keep 75 percent of the take. – Pattaya Mail