Guilty plea in Australian ATM card skimming case

Guilty plea in Australian ATM card skimming case

A 26-year old Malaysian man has admitted his involvement in an elaborate ATM card skimming scam that defrauded 315 Australian bank customers of A$623,426.

Appearing in NSW District Court, Kok Meng Ng pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching the Commonwealth Financial Transactions Act and computer offences.

Ng was part of a criminal gang that attached card skimming devices and pinhole cameras to ATMs operated by St George Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank. Counterfeit cards were then used to withdraw amounts of generally less than A$1000 from the victim's accounts.

The Court heard that Ng transferred the plundered cash to overseas accounts on 64 occasions between May 2001 and November last year. Only A$34,800 of the stolen funds have so far been recovered by police. Other members of NG's gang are believed to have fled the country when the police began investigating the suspect withdrawals

The federal charges carry a maximum five year jail term, and the computer crime charges three years. Ng has been remanded in custody ahead of another court appearance on Friday.

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