Suspected ATM fraud ringleader due in court

Suspected ATM fraud ringleader due in court

The gang is suspected by British police of carrying out an ATM scam there estimated at €3m. File Picture

A suspected ringleader of an international fraud gang is due to be charged on Monday after being arrested by gardaí on his return to Ireland.

The arrest on Friday by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) is part of an investigation involving British police and Europol, the EU police agency.

The gang is suspected by British police of carrying out an ATM scam there estimated at €3 million.

Two of the ringleaders have been arrested in Ireland, one last January, and another last Friday.

The GNECB received intelligence from British police that the second man was heading back to Ireland, for another suspected fraud spree.

Detectives believe this gang was involved in targeting 18 ATMs during three days last January.

While the amount defrauded in those incidents was not substantial, it did cause significant damage to the ATMs.

In the scam, the fraudsters manipulate the ATMs so customers don’t get the cash they request.

The cash gets stuck in the machine, which the scammers then release. The scam is known as Transaction Reversal Fraud.

GNECB were able to identify the ringleader they arrested on Friday after they gathered photographs of him renting a vehicle back in January.

In a statement, Garda HQ said the arrest was part of "ongoing investigations targeting international criminal organisations committing cyber enabled frauds in Ireland".

The suspect was held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

It said: “The investigation into transaction reversal frauds was reported by a financial institution on January 13, 2020". 

"Between January 8 and January 10, 2020, 18 ATM machines were targeted in Dublin resulting in the theft of money from customers' accounts and damage to the ATMs."

It added: “GNECB continue work closely with UK Police and Europol in targeting criminal organisations engaged in cyber enabled fraud in this jurisdiction.” 

It later said the suspect had been charged and would appear in court on Monday.

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