By Salinee Prab
POLICE have gathered evidence so an international arrest warrant can be issued for Russian man believed to have stolen cash from many ATMs in Thailand, including Bangkok, Phuket, and other provinces.
Pol Gen Panya Mamen, the chief investigator, said Rustam Shambasov, 29, was caught on surveillance video footage after stealing more than Bt3 million from 13 ATMs last month.
Shambasov’s identity was confirmed by a photocopy of his passport used to rent a Toyota Fortuner vehicle before starting a series of ATM “hacks”, along with seven other Eastern European suspects. Panya said immigration records showed Shambasov arrived in Thailand on July 14 – but flew out on August 1 from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
According to police, the Government Savings Bank did not report the ATM hacking incidents to them until this month. Recent inquiries revealed |that there were three teams of |ATM hackers with a total of four vehicles used along the route from Phuket to Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi and Bangkok.
Police said Shambasov’s identity was consistent with images found on surveillance video footage at hacked ATM sites in Phuket and Bangkok, so police believed he was one of the key suspects who stole a total of Bt12 million from GSB ATMs in Bangkok and other provinces in July.
Police said Shambasov stole cash from ATMs at 13 locations in Phuket, Phetchaburi and Bangkok with amounts stolen ranging from Bt80,000 to over Bt1 million at each of the locations from July 15 to July 30.
On August 1, the Russian suspect left Thailand by plane for Moscow.
Police are also gathering evidence to determine if Shambasov and other suspects were connected to thieves who stole another Bt4.5 million in multiple hacks from GSB ATMs in Phang Nga province in March this year.