Bali Police arrest four Romanians in connection with ATM skimming

Unfortunately, Bali has a bad rap for ATM skimming. Photo: Pixabay
Unfortunately, Bali has a bad rap for ATM skimming. Photo: Pixabay

Four Romanian citizens have been arrested by the Bali Police’s counter-transnational and organized crime (CTOC) task force for their alleged involvement in ATM skimming cases on the island.

The group—identified as Alisa Sardaru, 28, Sorin Velcu, 34, Alin Serdaru, 30, and Sorinel Miclescu, 28—are reportedly fugitives from their own country, where they are cyber crime recidivists.

According to the director of Bali Regional Police criminal investigation unit Yuliar Kus Nugroho, officers had been coordinating with local banks and surveilling the suspects’ movements for a week before the arrest.

“After checking, the bank system, transaction data, and CCTV recordings indicate that they made transactions using other cards containing magnetic strip data (not ATM),” he said, as quoted by Bali Post.

Based on their investigations, officers raided the group’s Kuta hotel at 2am on Wed, March 13, securing all four suspects.

Among the evidence, police seized more than IDR8 billion (US$563,440) in cash, a used laptop, two card readers, and 45 cards with magnetic strip data.
During the raid, Alisa Sardaru, the only woman in the group, tried to get rid of the evidence by flushing the cards down the toilet, but Nugroho says that she was prevented from doing so.

Bali, with its constant stream of spendthrift tourists coming in, is notorious for ATM skimming crimes, and many of the perpetrators seem to hail from Eastern Europe. Just last month, a Bulgarian group were arrested in Uluwatu, with police securing IDR78 million in cash from their persons.

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