Four Canadian citizens of Bulgarian origin were arrested on March 27 on charges of debit card fraud, accused of siphoning off more than one million Canadian dollars from ATMs in the Quebec and Ontario provinces, Canada’s CTV News reported.
The police began their investigation several months ago, but the group began their illicit activities in 2008, the report said. The group used equipment to copy bank card information, creating cloned cards that were then used, in Mexico and Asian countries, to make illegal cash withdrawals. The majority of the people affected by the fraud were from Quebec.
Four more Bulgarians, suspected of being part of the card fraud ring, were still on the run and sought by police, CTV News said.
The news comes only a day after Bulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said that it aided the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in the arrest of 16 Bulgarian nationals alleged to have engaged in bank card fraud and money laundering.
Most of the ring’s members, 14, arrested in the US, were involved in skimming – stealing credit or debit card information used in otherwise legitimate transactions – and two more people were arrested in Bulgaria, suspected of acting as intermediaries used to contact other criminal groups involved in skimming operations in other countries.
(Photo: Ronaldo Taveira/sxc.hu)