Two Ukrainian men were arrested in Macau for deploying a virus in automated teller machines (ATMs) to steal bank card information, the first case of this kind in Macau.
The duo were suspected to have planted the virus through the card reading equipment of ATMs to steal information such as bank card numbers and user pin codes since August last year, Macau Daily reported Thursday.
After stealing the data, they would forward the information to accomplices in Ukraine, who then make fake cards. Someone else in Thailand or Russia would later use the cards to withdraw money through the ATMs, the report said.
The two suspects were identified as 52-year-old Dugan and 28-year-old Iakushev. The report did not give their full names.
Police believes the international criminal group had stolen at least HK$490,000 (US$63,200) by using information from 63 bank cards.
A local bank reported to the police two months ago that seven of the ATM machines located in different areas in Macau were malfunctioning.
Until April, the authority had received reports from 61 people, among which 11 were Hongkongers, who claimed that their money had been withdrawn overseas.
Police are said to have arrested the two Ukrainian men in a guesthouse on Monday, and seized some computer devices, card readers, chips and cash.
The suspects admitted that they would receive 2000 euro as remuneration for every successful acquisition of information.
They will be charged on 10 counts, including illegally breaking into computer systems and computer fraud.
Police are said to be hunting for other suspects in the case.
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