ATM skimming gadgets: Two Malaysians in Singapore jailed
SINGAPORE, June 8 — Two Malaysian men have been jailed six years each for possessing skimming equipment to make fake ATM cards.
Loke Siew Fei, 27, and H’ng Gaik Chin, 39, each pleaded guilty to two counts of contravening Singapore’s Computer Misuse Act and one count of possessing equipment for making a false instrument, reported local television Channel NewsAsia.
It said an additional charge of unauthorised use of computer service was also taken into consideration.
The duo were tasked to bring skimming devices into Singapore to conduct skimming activities on ATMs.
In January, they tampered with three ATMs — a DBS ATM at Bugis Village, and two UOB ATMs at Sims Avenue.
After installing skimming devices on the machines, they would steal data from the ATM card’s magnetic strip.
A camera was also installed near the machines’ key pad to record the Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) of users.
They then emailed the information to a syndicate in Malaysia, where unauthorised withdrawals would be carried out by other members.
The court heard that within an hour of them tampering with the machines, bank customers carried out more than 200 transactions involving 100 bank accounts at the affected ATMs.
However, according to CNA none of the accounts were misused and there was no actual monetary loss to customers.
CNA quoted Senior District Judge See Kee Oon as saying that there was not enough evidence to link their cases to last year’s ATM fraud involving some 700 DBS and POSB customers.
They lost S$1 million (RM2.4 million) in unauthorised withdrawals made by fraudsters, also believed to be Malaysians.
Loke and H’ng were arrested in a hotel in Geylang Lorong 22 on January 12.
Their arrests came at a time when investigators and the public were reeling from a spate of fraudulent withdrawals involving DBS and POSB ATMs.
The duo are part of a transnational ATM skimming syndicate based in Malaysia, whose members included Eastern Europeans.
They were recruited by a mastermind who is still at large. — Bernama