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Bulgarian citizens plead guilty to ATM scam

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

THREE Bulgarian nationals have pleaded guilty to using cameras to obtain personal financial information such as PIN from customers of two banks in Lautoka and Namaka in an elaborate ATM scam.

Simeon Stefanov Minchev, Veliko Zhelev Velikov and Plamen Dimitrov Petrov appeared at the Lautoka Magistrates Court charged with possession of skimming device with the intention to dishonestly obtain personal financial information.

In court, divisional prosecuting officer Western, Assistant Superintendent of Police Anil Prasad said Minchev had used a camera to obtain personal information from a BRED Bank customer in Lautoka.

He said Mr Minchev also committed the crime in Namaka where he used the same device to retrieve another BRED Bank customer's information.

ASP Prasad said Mr Velikov and Mr Petrov had attempted to commit the same crime with a Westpac customer in Namaka.

He informed the court that the device and personal information were seized by police when the Bulgarians were arrested earlier this month.

He said the three committed the offence between November 9 and November 12.

Appearing before Magistrate Mosese Naivalu, the foreign nationals pleaded guilty to the three charges.

Defence lawyer Mark Anthony said he would not be making any applications for bail and that he would need until Thursday to submit his mitigation for the three accused.

A Russian interpreter has been sought by the court to assist in the case later this week. The matter has been adjourned to November 30 for mitigation.

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