Wednesday, January 19

Police nab suspect for planting skimming device

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Swift action by the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) has led to the arrest of a foreign suspect and the uncovering of a suspected gang of IT-savvy thieves following the discovery of a ‘card-skimmer’ at one of the busiest Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the capital, Borneo Bulletin reported.

Thanks to smart work of the Commercial Crime Investigation Division of the Criminal Investigation Department, a Malaysian male was arrested in Bandar Seri Begawan on the night of October 1.

The police said that the suspect could face the country’s court should thorough investigations confirm his involvement.

A press statement released by the RBPF explained that the individual’s identity was revealed through investigations conducted over the electronic device that was found at an HSBC ATM at The Mall in Gadong, the use of CCTV footage and through interviews with members of the public.

But preliminary investigations have also revealed that another two suspects may have been involved and who are currently at large.

Considering that the usage of such skimming device is among some of the most serious crimes that occur throughout the world, the police assured that they will continue to work closely with banking institutions in the country as well as other enforcement agencies and have sought assistance from overseas counterparts through Interpol to identify, locate and apprehend the remaining suspects.

Along with HSBC, the RBPF issued another public reminder and advised the general population to be on the lookout for any signs of tampering to ATMs or suspicious activities in and around the ATMs and in the event that something is amiss, the public has been advised to “stay calm, remain where you are and report the information” to the Commercial Crime Investigation Division at 2232001, 2232002, 2232007 or the 993 hotline and wait for assistance to arrive whilst HSBC customers are encouraged to call the HSBC ATM hotline at 2242310.

Meanwhile, informed sources told the Borneo Bulletin that this particular card-skimming modus operandi was, in fact, not the first that had occurred in the Sultanate.

It was reliably learnt that another bank received reports earlier in the year from two of their customers in relation to unauthorised ATM withdrawals.

Investigations into these events revealed that a card-skimming device was used to gain access to the victims’ accounts.