Bulgarian man arrested over ATM skimming in Bali

Illustration. Photo: Pixabay
Illustration. Photo: Pixabay

A Bulgarian man was arrested by Bali Police on Tuesday after he was identified as a suspect in multiple ATM skimming cases in South Bali.

Stefan Ivanov, 53, and his Russian counterpart who is still at large, are responsible for skimming at least six machines, according to Bali Police.

Designated crime scenes include Mandiri ATMs in Kerobokan, Denpasar, Kuta, and BNI and BRI machines in Kuta.

Police tracked down Ivanov after receiving reports from Mandiri Bank suspecting that a foreigner had made suspicious withdrawals.

“The investigation was conducted for two weeks. It was finally revealed that that the skimming was done by Stefan Ivanov,” Kumparan quoted an unidentified Bali police officer as saying.

Police tracked the suspect from one of the compromised Mandiri ATMs at a gas station in Kerobokan to a restaurant in Kuta.

Once Ivanov finished eating, police arrested him and searched his person, securing an air soft gun, a folding knife, IDR51.3 million (US$3,550) in cash, 98 fake bank cards, a cable, an international driver’s license, and a router used for skimming.

That’s in addition to five flash drives, nine debit and credit cards, two hard drives, four mobile phones, and other pieces of evidence.

Bali Police spokesman Hengky Widjaja confirmed with Kumparan that Ivanov is still being investigated and his case is still being developed because it involves other suspects.

Bali has become notorious for ATM-related crimes in the past several years, even getting ranked as one of the worst places in the world for ATM skimming.

Bali’s been hit by Bulgarian ATM scammers in the past, with one Bulgarian man getting sentenced to 12 years prison for stealing banking data from ATM users with a skimmer.

The public is advised to used ATMs attached to branch banks where security is enhanced, rather than freestanding machines or machines at other shops.

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