Bali Police catch Bulgarian cybercrime group skimming Sanur ATMs

The BNI ATM on Jl. Danau Tamblingan in Sanur where the perpetrators were caught. Photo via Google Maps
The BNI ATM on Jl. Danau Tamblingan in Sanur where the perpetrators were caught. Photo via Google Maps

Four Bulgarian men have been arrested in connection with ATM skimming after police caught two of them in the act on Friday night. Identified only by their initials—KDY, VRG, VKN, and VVC—the four perpetrators were found out thanks to a coordinated operation involving Bali regional Police, the Special Criminal Investigation Unit, and local banks.

According to an article in Bali Post, the arrests came as part of a deliberate crackdown on ATM skimming. Working together with BNI bank, police had uncovered incriminating equipment inside one of the bank’s Sanur ATM machines. As well as a wifi router and modified pin cover, the CCTV cameras inside the cubicle were found to be damaged.

As a result of these investigations, police had been keeping close surveillance of a BNI ATM machine near the Shining Jewel restaurant on Jl. Danau Tamblingan. Their efforts paid off at around 9:15pm on Friday when a car carrying two of the suspects, identified as KDY and VRG, pulled up. The pair had reportedly come to replace the keypad cover with a new one containing a hidden camera. Officers intercepted the duo immediately, seizing the modified cover, plus a cell phone and a machete from their car, as reported by Nusa Bali.

The search continued at the Sanur residence of the perpetrators, where police seized more evidence in the form of a second cell phone and a laptop. They also found the third group member, known by the initials VKN.

Further developments led police to the rented house of the final conspirator, VVC, on Saturday afternoon. Carried out at around 2pm at the perpetrator’s house off Jl. Kutat Lestari in Sanur, a police search revealed more cellphones and laptops thought to have been used in connection with cybercrime. The final group member was arrested on the scene, as reported by Bali Post.

The results of digital forensic examinations of the electronic equipment found some data allegedly related to ATM skimming. Bali Police spokesman Hengky Widjaja explained the technicalities of the group’s method to Tribune Bali.

“The perpetrators installed a set of black wifi routers, along with a cable in the modem part of the ATM machine to copy customer data during transactions,” he said.

In an interesting twist to the case, police discovered that the four had been in communication—and presumably consultation—with Boris Georgiev Rusev, a former prisoner and Bulgarian national who had been jailed for the same crime in 2017.

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