Ukrainian woman arrested in Bali for skimming IDR325 million from victims in North Sulawesi

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

Police in Bali have arrested a Ukrainian woman for her alleged role in an ATM card skimming case, as authorities look into the possibility of a network carrying out the financial scam across Indonesia. 

The suspect, identified as 33-year-old BK, is accused of stealing around IDR325 million (US$22,645) from at least two victims. 

“The suspect illegally withdrew [money] using transfer and payment methods from the [victims’ accounts] to a virtual account,” Ary Satryan, who heads the general crimes unit at the Bali Police, said in a statement. 

Ary said BK uses a magnetic card – which mimics the victims’ ATM card info – that she obtained from another possible suspect, identified as MX. 

Police were alerted to the crime after two people from South Sulawesi reported missing money from their accounts, leading to an internal investigation by the bank that saw peculiar transactions being made in Bali. CCTV recording at the ATM vestibules revealed that those transactions were conducted by someone else, which eventually led to BK’s arrest at her villa in Badung regency. 

“BK never took the money in cash, and she always changed her clothes,” Ary said. 

“This Ukrainian national is not the main suspect, she is the suspect who withdrew the money. We are still developing the case to find out who is giving instructions to BK.” 

According to Ary, BK has not stayed in Bali for very long, and with recent arrests made in Yogyakarta and Surabaya, police suspect that she may be part of a bigger skimming network. 

She faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, as she has been charged with violation of articles under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP) and Information and Electronic Transactions Law (UU ITE).

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