Bulgarians in ATM skimming arrested

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Monday, May 19, 2014


CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga -- Police arrested two Bulgarians who were skimming an automated teller machine (ATM) at the Banco de Oro branch inside SM City Pampanga over the weekend.

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) director, identified and presented to media the two suspects as Mladenov Emil Stoyanov, 22, and Karnev Lyuven Georgeiv, 28.

Petrasanta said that the Mexico police received a report on Thursday from the SM City Pampanga security staff regarding the foreigners who were suspected of installing a copying gadget in an ATM of Banco De Oro.

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This developed after a bank client reported to the security staff of SM City Pampanga that an ATM machine had two PIN pads and a card skimmer.

Petrasanta said that the client also reported noticing the two suspects suspiciously loitering and watching the ATM booth.

Petrasanta said Mexico police and Regional Intelligence Division operatives were dispatched to the area to verify and investigate the report.

Upon arrival of the operatives, the security staff of the mall already held the two foreigners in their custody, he said.

Confiscated from the suspects were three data port cables that matched the ATM card skimmer, one small flat screw used in picking ATM cards and a laptop with a software that decodes accounts.

Also confiscated from them were Bureau of Immigration identification cards or tourists passes pointing the date of issuance this year for Georgiev as March 26 and May 5 for Stoyanov.

Petrasanta said a police team has been investigating if the two arrested suspects are connected to a local big syndicate. He said last February, an Italian national was also arrested while withdrawing money using a fake card from an ATM machine in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City.

Charges of violating the Access Devices Regulation act of 1998 and act providing for recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transaction and document were filed in court against the two Bulgarians before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor.

The two are presently detained at Mexico police.

Petrasanta said they have coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) branch in Clark Freeport for verification of the suspects' status as they may involve in international syndicate in ATM card fraud.

"I am appealing to the public using ATM cards na maging mapagmatiyag sa mga ATM machine booths kung ang mga ito’y walang nakapatong na ibang key pad," Petrasanta said. (Ric Sapnu)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 20, 2014.

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