BANGKOK – Moroccan Hacker Mohamed Yassine Gharib wanted by Swiss police for hacking banks in Switzerland has been arrested in Bangkok, police said on Saturday.
Immigration police captured Mr. Gharib on Friday in a hotel lobby in the Samsen area, Immigration Bureau commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon said.
Mr Gharib’s Thai girlfriend, Amornrat Hongklad, who was with him at the time, would be place under protection as a witness, he added.
A Thai arrest warrant was issued on Feb 28 for the 26-year-old Moroccan after Swiss police alerted Thailand that he had entered the country four years ago.
Swiss authorities say Mr Gharib and about 10 other suspects had hacked bank accounts in Switzerland causing damage equivalent to more than 600 million baht before fleeing the European country.
Police finally tracked the suspect to the hotel and waited for him there, knowing that he would return to collect the passport he had left there.
Police said Mr Gharib told them that he had been staying in hotels in Bangkok and Pattaya since coming to Thailand and had known Mrs Amornrat for more than two years.
The bureau will contact the Swiss embassy about extradition, Pol Lt Gen Pharnu added.
In March a 27-year old Moroccan hacker who stole financial information under the nickname ‘Diabl0′ has been arrested by Thai authorities in Bangkok.
Farid Essebar is accused of causing as much as $4 billion worth of damage to several Swiss banks. He previously served a year in prison for helping create the Zotob worm, which wreaked havoc in 2005. At the time, Sophos suggested that ‘Diabl0’ could be linked to over 20 other viruses.
Essebar is currently awaiting extradition to Switzerland, where he will face trial.