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A 27-year-old Russian man was arrested Thursday (October 9) after using his electronic skimming card to make illegal cash withdrawals totalling near B100,000 from three branches of Kasikorn Bank in the Kamala area.
Kasikorn Bank reported to new Police Chief, Pol Maj Gen Pachara Boonyasit that there was a suspected foreigner withdrawing money from many different ATM machines of the bank from September 29 – 30 and again on October 5.
After checking the CCTV in every branch, the police team went to arrest Nicolai Petrishin, 27, at the Novotel Hotel in Kamala. The arrest was made just one day before Petrishin’s tourist visa expired. The skimmer had just arrived to Thailand for the first time on September 28 with a reported 50 skimming cards from a Russian gang back in his native Moscow.
Mr Nicolai confessed that he got all the cards from his country and targeted Thailand since he could get a visa upon arrival.
After withdrawing about B100,000 from several ATM machines, he had to separate money into three parts: one for him, while the other two parts were sent back to Russia to the gang who initially gave him the cards along with 46 sets of pin codes.
Pol Maj Gen Pachara added about CCTV installation measure around the island that the team is gathering information about places and doing further survey for more installation.
“The cases we can close are almost all because of CCTV cameras. We are checking for more places that need cameras to be installed, which will be linked with Google Earth for more efficiency. Police in each area have to assign some representatives to take care of the CCTV camera in their respective area and immediately repair if it shows any error,” Pol Maj Gen Pachara said.
The is the second time in three weeks that a skimmer had been arrested thanks to help from CCTV footage as electronic skimming has become an increasingly common crime in Phuket.
A group of Bulgarians were arrested on September 27 in Patong for skimming tens of thousands of Thai Baht from several ATM machines in the area.
In May, police arrested a group of foreigners who stole over B700,000 in a five-person skimming operation.