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Police crackdown on the illegal activities of Russians

Police in Pattaya have arrested two Russians who used counterfeit cards in steal cash from an ATM machine. Mr. Dennis Gonsarov, 27 and Mr. Iiya Angriva, 26, took part in press conference where the police displayed 202 counterfeit ATM cards and a card skimming device, the police said that they have confiscated 18,000 baht from the men and charged them with electronic card forgery.

The arrest came after police officers in Pattay were informed of the crime by the Kasikorn Bank who said the two foreRussians Thailandigners had been stealing huge amounts of cash from their ATM’s. Detectives tracked the thieves down to the Banglamuang district. It has been reported that Mr. Gonsarov told the police he had planted a skimmer device and a small camera on ATM’s to copy the victim’s cards and observe their pin numbers and claims to have sent millions back to his own country.

In Chonbui province seven Russians have been accused of running an unauthorized tour business. Director of the Second Region Special Operations Centre, Mr. Pravit Chaibua, said the police had previously received complaints about Russian owned tour companies operated by Thai proxies in Pattaya, “this is illegal” he said.

A tour business is an occupation exclusively reserved for Thai nationals under the law. Mr. Pravit went on to say that the Russian run tour companies often cheat tourists and intimidate legitimate operations in the area and this leads to violent confrontation. Following the investigation in Pattaya and Banglamung districts, the police apprehended 7 Russians identified as owners of illicit tour companies.

The suspects have been charged with violating Thai alien laws, and using Thai nationals to run the business on their half. Maximum penalty for the offence could be as high as 1,000,000 baht in fine and 3 years in prison, Mr. Pravit said.The Russians suspects are detained at 3 police stations across Pattaya.

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