Yury Bondarenko, 29, has been arrested in the central resort town of Nha Trang for allegedly colluding with another two Russian nationals to withdraw money with fake ATM cards. Photo credit: Khanh Hoa police
Police in the central province of Khanh Hoa have taken into custody the third Russian national who allegedly worked with another two in withdrawing over VND171 million ($7,500) with fake bank cards in Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.
Yury Bondarenko, 29, now along with Kotets Viacheslav, 43, and Troian Aleksei, 32, are being investigated on charges of "using computers, telecommunication networks, Internet or digital devices to appropriate others' property," the province's news website quoted police as saying on Friday.
Under Vietnam's existing laws, the crime is punishable by a jail term up to five years.
Initial investigation found that the men entered Vietnam through Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport on October 14 and 20.
They brought with them two laptops, nine cell phones, one magnetic stripe reader, and hundreds of blank cards, police said.
Bondarenko was allegedly in charge of contacting their overseas accomplices who would provide him with stolen accounts' information so he could make the fake bank cards.
Once the cards were ready to use, he delivered them to another two men who stayed in different hotels around District 1.
On October 22 and 23, they made 12 cash withdrawals, amounting to over VND38 million ($1,600), at the BIDV bank's ATM booths, police said, adding they spent the money paying for hotels and meals.
They traveled to Nha Trang the next day and again stayed in three different hotels.
Police said the men targeted BIDV's ATM booths around the town, making 39 withdrawals and pocketing over VND133 million ($5,800).
This time, however, their "abnormal" transactions were flagged by the bank's Khanh Hoa branch, according to the news website.
Aleksei and Viacheslav were caught red-handed at two different ATM booth on the night of October 27.
A raid on the suspects' hotel rooms produced over VND247 million and nearly 49,000 Euros in cash, or $31,400 in total, and 250 magnetic stripe cards, police said.
Investigation is ongoing.