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Three ATM thieves indicted

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Three ATM thieves indicted

Three ATM thieves indicted

Three foreign suspects of the First Bank ATM theft were indicted for fraud by the prosecutors two months after arrest, Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Tuesday.

Latvian Andrejs Peregudovs, Romanian Mihail Colibaba, and Moldovan Niklae Penkov, were charged with fraud in relation to a theft of more than NT$83 million in cash from the major local bank automatic teller machines in July.

The heist occurred between July 9 and 11 when an international criminal ring stole the money from 41 of First Bank ATMs in Taipei, New Taipei, and Taichung using malware to hack into the ATM computer system and manipulate the machines.

A total of 17 people were involved in the theft, with only three of them arrested, while the rest of the suspects were believed to have fled the country. The Taipei District Court later granted a request by prosecutors to detain the three East European suspects out of concern that they would pose risks of flight or collusion.

While most of the stolen money was recovered following the arrest, nearly NT$10 million of cash has yet to be found.

The Taipei District Court on Tuesday pressed charges against the three suspects and sought a 12-year prison sentence for fraud and offenses against computer security as a result of the investigation.