Indian in soup over card skimming scam

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An Indian man with a degree in computer science has been arrested for allegedly working for a credit card skimming gang, according to the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD).

Mohammed Asik Budinsa Rautor, 39, of Indian parentage but who was raised and attended high school in Thailand, was apprehended in a hotel room in Chiang Mai yesterday.

He graduated with a computer science degree in India where he worked and befriended members of a credit card skimming gang.

Mr Rautor returned to work in Thailand six months ago allegedly on the gang's instructions. From India, the gang remotely supplied him with credit card information which was stolen electronically from the card owners, including tourists from the US and Canada, according to the TCSD.

Mr Rautor then transferred the information to fake credit cards which he then used to buy goods in popular tourist provinces such as Chiang Mai.

The credit card slips seized from Mr Rautor showed he had bought jewellery items and other goods worth more 400,000 baht although police estimate that the gang's scam in Thailand may be worth more than 30 million baht.

Police seized evidence including a laptop, a card skimmer, a credit card reader and slips.

The TCSD said some shops colluded with the gang for a cut of 55% from the sales obtained using the fake credit cards while the gang took 40%. Mr Rautor was paid the remaining 5%.

Pol Lt Gen Prachuab Wongsuk, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, said Mr Rautor's arrest came after the suspect approached a shop in Chiang Mai and offered the owner a cut.

The shop refused to take part and alerted the police.

The commissioner said the police was expanding the investigation to find accomplices in the crime.

Pol Lt Gen Prachuab warned the general public to be cautious about where they use their credit cards to make payments.

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