Bangkok, 21 October, (Asiantribune.com): Thai police nabbed three Sri Lankan Tamils in downtown Bangkok for alleged credit card forgery. The suspected trio were identified as Sivapriyan Sivapakiyarajah, a naturalized Canadian Tamil of Sri Lankan origin, and Alahapan Balendran and Venkadeswaran Maheswaran, both Sri Lankan nationals, according to the Thai Police Crime Suppression Division.
The suspects were arrested near a hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 4 in Bangkok, while they were walking to their vehicle.
They were carrying 104 electronic cards, a magnetic card-strip reader and two laptop computers.
The initial investigation found that all three men were allegedly members of a transnational credit card hacking gang, using Thailand as their base for committing crime.
According to the police, the detainees stole credit card data from European customers of international banks. They then copied and transferred it into counterfeit credit cards which card holders could use to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) worldwide.
The trio withdrew, according to Thai police sources, money from ATMs in banks and shopping malls in Thailand. Their counterfeit cards caused at least Bt40 million (over US$1,140,000) in financial liabilities.
The suspects said that they received the European victims’ data from their friends via the Internet, adding that banks in Europe were still using magnetic credit cards which were easy for scammers to hack and change data.
The trio were charged with forging electronic cards aiming to deceiving other people, possessing a machine or an object for falsifying and hacking information.