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2 Bulgarian Nationals Arrested for Alleged ATM Skimming in Indonesia’s East Java

October 13, 2021, 03.38 PM – Two Bulgarians identified by initials VBD, 38, and PPB, 41, were arrested on Saturday, October 2, in the Indonesian city of Pasuruan in East Java province after allegedly stealing money by using card skimmer devices from an ATM. As many as 29 customers have lost a total of 493 million rupiahs ($35,000).

VBD and PPB, who arrived in Indonesia last year, had previously lived in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Still in the same year in November, from West Nusa Tenggara the duo then traveled to East Java, including Pasuruan, where they and other people allegedly used the skimming devices at the ATM. They placed the skimming equipment at the ATM in a busy area on Jalan Sultan Agung from July 26 to 31 this year.

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They were later arrested by the police in the East Java capital of Surabaya on October 2, following reports filed by the victims.

Adjunct Senior Commissioner of Police (AKBP) Arman, Pasuruan police chief, said that other suspects are currently on the run.

“Their friends are still on the run,” said Arman in a statement on Tuesday, October 12.

“This is the first time the Pasuruan Police precinct uncovered ATM skimming fraud,” he added.

Data has been sent to Bulgaria reported that Arman said the two Bulgarians had prepared to install the skimming equipment at any ATM they’ve seen.

“The two suspects placed the skimming devices at the ATM and installed a micro camera above the ATM keypad to obtain the identity of the ATM cardholders and their PIN,” he said.

Once the data was collected, the suspects then sent it all to a server managed by their contact in their country of origin for further process.

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“The perpetrators were reported to install the skimming device at one of the state banks on Jalan Sultan Agung and stole the money. After we received reports, we immediately carried out an investigation,” he said, adding that the mastermind of the case was VBD.

“The suspects were arrested in Surabaya city. Victor and Plamen acted as the mastermind and recipient of the stolen items, respectively.”

The police chief said that his party was still pursuing the two other perpetrators who were on the most-wanted list or locally known as DPO.

The police have recovered some items in the form of two cars, two laptops, five cell phones, two bank books, three ATMs, 186 blank cards, and two passports. Besides, they also found evidence comprising skimming tools such as an advanced card reader, a magnetic card reader, and 16 micro USB charger circuit boards.

If found guilty, they could face a penalty of up to eight years’ imprisonment.

(Writer: Andi Hartik | Editor: Dheri Agriesta, Rachmawati)


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