Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested a Bulgarian man for using ATM cards, brought from Bulgaria into Vietnam, to steal money from ATM machines.
Ivan Slabob Rusev, 37, was arrested on Monday by police in Cau Ong Lanh Ward, District 1, after he was caught using a fake ATM card to withdraw money from an ATM booth.
According to the case file, at noon on November 17 an employee of the HSBC bank branch at 63-67 Tran Hung Dao Street found Ivan withdrawing money from an ATM in a suspicious manner in front of the branch, so he shouted for help.
A police team that was patrolling the area heard the employee’s shouts, so they rushed to the scene to see what was going on.
After determining that the ATM card Rusev was using on the ATM machine was fake, police searched him and found 17 other false ATM cards and VND30 million (US$1,400) in cash.
Police also discovered and seized from the boot of Rusev’s motorbike over VND51 million ($2,390) in cash and 22 more fake cards.
Rusev told police he arrived in Vietnam about 15 days ago and was staying in a rented high-class apartment on Vo Van Kiet Avenue in District 1.
Before he came to Vietnam, two other Bulgarians gave him the fake cards to use to withdraw money from ATM machines, Rusev said.
Monday morning, he withdrew VND81 million ($3,800) from 10 ATM booths in District 1, he said.
The ward police are preparing to hand Rusev over to the district police for investigation, said Lieutenant Colonel Tran Huu Thanh, chief of the ward police.
Several similar cases committed by Bulgarians have been recently detected in the city, as well as in other parts of Vietnam.
The most recent case took place on March 13 when police in District 1 arrested Stoyanoy Yuliyan Georgiev, 28, who was caught red-handed attempting to withdraw money from an Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) ATM machine with a fake card.
An ACB spokesperson said the cardplastic Georgiev had attempted to use to withdraw money ATM was “a cloned card made from stolen data and was not issued by ACB.”
Police later seized from Georgiev VND55 million (US$2,580) in cash, 55 credit cards, 240 unidentified cards and a suitcase containing nearly VND1 billion ($47,000) in cash.
In October 2013, Yardan Todorav Valentinvo and Popov Martin Vasilev, both 32, were seized by city police while withdrawing money from an ACB machine in District 1.
The police then confiscated VND12.7 million ($596) and 38 forged cards from the two, who were also from Bulgaria.
In late September 2003, police in south-central Khanh Hoa Province issued administrative fines to three Bulgarian men and expelled them for stealing at least US$5,230 from ATMs by using fake ATM cards.
The men are Korneev Valentin Nilolov, 53, Genov Aleksandar Simeonov, 44, and Dimitrov Iliyan Plamenov, 26. They were arrested on September 8 in the province’s Nha Trang City.