Ex-convict back at old tricks


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 May 2003

BY ELAN PERUMAL

SHAH ALAM: A former convict got into his old tricks again within four months of his release from prison after being jailed twice for stealing money from at least 150 auto teller machines. 

Kajang police arrested the 58-year-old man in his hometown in Kuala Jempol, Bahau in Negri Sembilan on April 30 for the same offences again. 

He is believed to have made at least 13 illegal ATM withdrawals amounting to RM15,000 since his release from jail on Dec 28 last year. 

State CID chief SAC II Abu Bakar Mustafa said the crime was committed in places like Rawang, Kajang, Sepang and Banting. 

The suspect, he said, would operate only from Bank Simpanan Nasional outlets that had two ATMs located next to each other. 

“His modus operandi was to insert broken match sticks into the ATM card reader in order to boot the machine, which will then hold back the card. 

“Then, he would offer to help his victim. On the pretext of retrieving the card, he would obtain their PIN which he would key into the machine several times. Eventually, he would tell the victim that he failed to get the card from the reader,” he said. 

After the customer had left the area, the suspect would use a handsaw to retrieve the ATM card and slot it into the next machine to withdraw the money using the PIN which he had acquired by then, SAC Abu Bakar told a press conference yesterday. 

He said investigations revealed that the suspect had used the same method in all the offences he had committed since 1997. 

Between 1997 and 1998, SAC Abu Bakar said the suspect made more than 150 withdrawals of about RM200,000 before he was sentenced to 10 months' jail in December 1998. 

“He was sent to jail for the second time in December 2000 when he served a two-year sentence for committing six similar offences,” SAC Abu Bakar said, adding the recent arrest was made following a report lodged by the suspect's victim from Kajang on April 29. 

He said police were investigating the case under Section 4(a) of the Computer Crime Act 1997 for booting the ATMs and Section 379 of the Penal Code for cheating.  

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