Bank refunds Br120 million stolen from plastic cards

Complaints from customers about the disappearance of money from their plastic cards help police track down the perpetrators.

A leading bank’s technician that maintained ATMs pocketed almost $56 thousand within three years. Investigators have proved 110 cases of theft and the attempted theft of money from ATMs in Minsk. The criminal case has been filed with Minsk’s Leninski District Court. The man is facing from 6 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Igar Charnenka, the chief of the IT-crime police task force, has refused to elaborate on the details of the operation, citing professional secrets. He just said that customers’ complaints helped push the lead into their right direction.

Police agents have seized and returned to the bank Br100 million that the former ATM technician left unspent. He is yet to pay off the outstanding amount of Br20 million that he has already spent. This will not affect the victims in any way, according to the police task force chief.

Igar Charnenka: “The bank acts as a guarantor of deposits and will compensate all the losses to its customers”.

While the case has already been in court under Article 212 “Theft using computer technologies”, both the task force operatives and the bank officials are still “pinpointing” all of the victims. They say none will be left affected.

Igar Charnenka explains to the European Radio for Belarus how the swindler conned the people.

“He used special software while performing maintenance works on ATMs. This allowed him to access personal information that card holders entered when withdrawing their money,” Charnenka said.

The IT-crime police task force admits that crimes with plastic cards are very common in this country. This particular case stands out only because of a serious amount of money stolen and because the crime was committed by a bank staff. This circumstance is especially dangerous as the perpetrator could have stolen money from all of the bank’s customers with plastic cards, a total of hundreds of thousand people across the nation.

To boost up security, Igar Charnenka advises banks to mount video surveillance cameras on all ATMs.

“Bank that process huge amounts of money cannot install ATMs with video surveillance cameras. This is not right,” he said.