Pattaya Daily News

10 February 2010 :: 17:02:09 pm 12963

Iranian ATM Fraud Gang Head Arrested in Thailand

A massive ATM fraud network has been uncovered, with leading members and the Iranian gang head arrested in Bangkok. It is believed that the total of the monies fraudulently obtained by the gang amounts to over 50 million baht.
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Bangkok, the 9th of February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) Director General Thangai Pratsajaksattru and the CIB Deputy Director General Panya Mamaen along with a police taskforce announced the successful apprehension of several members of a multinational ATM fraud gang in Bangkok on Tuesday. Mr. Martin Arami [37] an Iranian national and head of the operation was arrested along with Mr. Jarernchai Kitpimolkul [31] and Mr. Aiyadech Oanurak [54] who had participated in the scam.

The gang is accused of obtaining confidential account information from unsuspecting members of the public both in Thailand and overseas. The gang would then employ Thai citizens to open accounts that would be used to transfer money from the victim’s accounts before being withdrawn at ATM’s in Thailand. It is alleged that the gang was using internet phone services to place calls to the victims. The gang had claimed to be representatives of the Revenue Department in certain instances, informing victims that they had outstanding tax payments owing and that they were required to transfer the funds immediately. The money would then be transferred to the aforementioned Thai accounts and withdrawn.

The CIB Director General explained that once the accounts had been created the ATM cards would be collected from the Thai person by one of the gang, who would then proceed to withdraw the money from the account. It was revealed that the taskforce had arrested, on the 4th of February, a Mr. Sia Tong Thong at the Siam Paragon Department Store in Bangkok. Mr. Thong, a member of the operation, led them to the arrest of a further three of the gang on Tuesday. Mr. Thong was in possession of a large amount of cash and an ATM slip at the time of arrest. Two further members of the gang have managed to escape police and are believed to be Mrs. Maleejun Lakorn and Miss Pranorm Saemoe. Investigations are still underway to arrest the fugitive pair.

According to police reports, over 1000 Thai citizens have been used to open bank accounts for the gang, who were each payed between 1,500 and 2,500 baht each. Police have urged anyone involved in the opening of a bank account on behalf of these men to come forward immediately or face police arrest. Mr. Arami, the gang leader, was arrested in possession of 19 ATM cards, various ATM receipts, 240,000 baht in cash and his bank account contained over 47,000,000 baht. The gang members withdrawing the moneys from the bank accounts are largely of Taiwanese and Chinese decent.

Police have urged the public to assist in arresting the remaining gang members by reporting any instances were by someone of Taiwanese or Chinese appearance appears to complete several withdrawals from an ATM obtaining a large amount of money.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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