Iloilo police launch probe following arrest of Malaysians in ATM ‘skimming’ | Inquirer News

Iloilo police launch probe following arrest of Malaysians in ATM ‘skimming’

/ 05:04 PM April 30, 2013

ILOILO CITY, Philippines–Police here are investigating the possible existence of an international syndicate involved in stealing bank account information from automated teller machines in commercial establishments.

Chief Inspector Efren Lozada, chief of the Mandurriao police station, said investigation was launched following the arrest of three Malaysian nationals on Saturday by the security guards of the SM City mall in Mandurriao District at an ATM machine near the entrance to the supermarket.

Lozada said the mall’s security guards monitored the suspects, who were seen acting suspiciously near ATM machines in the mall the day before they were arrested.


The police identified the suspects as Ching Seng Jun, 25, Chang Yong Siang, 32, and Tan Boon Fooi, 24.


Recovered from the suspects were skimming devices, P10,990 in cash and various currencies, three ATM cards and five mobile phones.

Skimming involves the installation of devices including ATM card readers and surveillance cameras on ATM machines.

The devices secretly gather card information and record the personal identification number of ATM card owners. The stolen information is then transferred to another ATM card enabling access to the hacked bank account.

“It is most likely that they have local links or contacts and they could be part of a bigger operation,” Superintendent Kim Legada, deputy director for operations of the Iloilo City Police Office, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The suspects entered the Philippines on April 14, based on initial information from the Bureau of Immigration, according to Lozada.

They checked in at a hotel in Iloilo City on April 27 but investigators said the hotel reservation was registered to another person.


Investigators of the Mandurriao police station where the suspects have been detained had difficulty investigating the suspects because they spoke little English, Lozada said.

The police have filed a complaint against the suspects for violating Republic Act 8484 (Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998) before the Iloilo City Prosecutors Office.

Lawyer Hector Teodosio, who has been tapped as legal counsel of the suspects, said he was still studying the case but he said the suspects denied the allegations.

The police have warned ATM clients to examine and report suspicious or unusual devices in ATMs before using their ATM cards.

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Clients were also advised to be on the lookout of unauthorized persons attaching devices on ATMs. With a report from Karen Bermejo

TAGS: Banking, Crime, News, technology, theft

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