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Russian arrested for installing ATM skimmer

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Russian arrested for installing ATM skimmer | The Thaiger

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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Russian arrested for installing ATM skimmer
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A Russian has been arrested for allegedly installing a “skimmer” device to steal PIN numbers of cardholders who used an automatic teller machine (ATM) at a 7-Eleven convenience store in eastern Bangkok.

The new device was said to be able to deter counter-skimmer measures that commercial banks in Thailand had devised to try to combat this type of fraud. Each skimmer can be installed on an ATM in only 16 seconds, police sources said.

The suspect was identified as Anton Lilin, 30. Police sources said he told them he would be killed by other members of the gang based in Russia if he revealed details of this crime to police.

Hua Mak police said they were looking for another Western-looking man seen with Lilin in surveillance camera footage, who had fled.

The suspect has been charged with possessing and using devices capable of stealing people’s confidential data via electronic media or cards, and using forged media or cards with intent to steal, as well as illegal entry.

The sources said Lilin got anxious when stating that he belonged to an influential Russia-based racket and asked not to give further details apart from the fact that he and three compatriots had entered Thailand recently.

He was the group’s technician tasked with installing the skimmer devices at ATM machines, which he said could be done in 16 seconds.

Tip-off from customers

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Hua Mak police said they had arrested Lilin last Monday in a stakeout following tip-offs a day earlier by customers of the 7-Eleven branch.

Lilin appeared to match video footage and there was another Western-looking man, who did not show up with Lilin on the night he was arrested.

Pol Major Pheerarat Yoma, a Hua Mak station officer, said Lilin and the three other Russians entered Thailand four months ago and resided in Chon Buri.

The ATMs targeted for skimmer installation were located in areas where withdrawals of large amounts of money were frequent.

The skimmer was found to have previously been used on a Siam Commercial Bank ATM, he said.

Lilin told police many skimmer sets had been installed on ATMs of various banks, but no details were available on which banks they were. Interrogation of Lilin was ongoing, he said.

Bank clients’ information including PIN numbers for their accounts would be saved and sent abroad, so that they could be extracted, processed, and eventually used to withdraw money from accounts, for which PIN numbers were stolen, Pheerarat said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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News

Whale freed by drilling team in Gulf of Thailand

Greeley Pulitzer

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Whale freed by drilling team in Gulf of Thailand | The Thaiger

On Saturday six drilling team members at Erawan offshore field spent about 30 minutes cutting a rope tied to the tail of a Bryde’s whale that apparently swam towards the structure seeking help, according to the Bangkok Post.

The rope was believed to have been tied to its tail by fishermen after the whale became trapped in a net, but the whale managed to escape, dragging the rope with it.

The rescue mission’s account was posted on Facebook and drew widespread praise. “Thumbs up for you guys. It wasn’t an easy job,” one commentator wrote.

The platform is about 140 kilometres off the shore of Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

One worker, who filmed the operation, said it took place at 2pm on Saturday, and that all staff members were overjoyed to save the whale.

Whale freed by drilling team in Gulf of Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Photo: Nat Panupong Taps

Another staff at the platform said the whale was about five metres long and weighed 200 kilogrammes. The operation took around 30 minutes in rough seas before the team was finally able to cut the rope from the whale’s tail, he added.

Bryde’s whales have been sighted in many areas in the Gulf of Thailand, the latest one about two weeks ago off the central province of Prachuap Khirikhan. The Marine and Coastal Resources Department says the sightings indicate the richness of marine resources in the gulf.

In April, another drilling team from the same company rescued a stranded dog found at sea about 200 km from shore. The dog was later named Boonrod and adopted by a Chevron official working at the platform, who took the pet home with him to Khon Kaen province during his work leave.

Posted by Nat Panupong Taps on Saturday, 19 October 2019

SOURCE: bangkokpost.com

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Business

500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies

Greeley Pulitzer

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500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies | The Thaiger

Roughly 36% of Thailand’s corporate equity is held by just 500 people, highlighting wealth inequality in the Kingdom, according to a study released by the Bank of Thailand’s research institute.

Each of these 500 amass some 3.1 billion baht (102 million USD) per year in company profits, according to the report from the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research. In contrast, average yearly household income in Thailand is around 10,000 USD.

A report out this week from the Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Thailand’s Rangsit University also pointed to divisive and polarised politics being another root cause of the economic divide.

Thailand’s private sector is dominated by tycoons running sprawling conglomerates. According to the World Bank, the gap between the mega-wealthy and the rest of the Thai population of 69 million is among the many economic challenges for Thailand. According to Bloomberg, the perception of a divide, exacerbated by an economic slowdown, is a major political fault line.

“Magnates arise in Thailand from institutional factors that privilege certain businesses,” said the executive director of PIER, author of the study.

The institute said Thailand needs to promote competitiveness to reduce profits from monopoly power and bolster entrepreneurship to create a more equitable distribution of corporate wealth.

The research is based on analysis of 2017 Commerce Ministry data on the 2.1 million shareholders in Thai firms, and was funded by the University of California San Diego.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care

The Thaiger

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Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care | The Thaiger

The majority of respondents to a Super Poll survey, say that they are still waiting to see where they will put their future support. For now they’re saying they neither support the Government or Opposition, preferring to wait to assess their performance.

Super Poll conducted the survey on 1,069 people from a wide range of occupations nationwide between October 1519.

The director of Super Poll, Noppadol Kannikar, says that one interesting finding was that 67.2% of respondents admitted that they prefer not to take sides, with the Government or Opposition, because both are currently under-performing and they want to wait to assess their performance.

But 16.9% of the respondents are supportive of the coalition Government, compared to 15.9% who oppose it.

On the question of Government spending, the survey showed 65.9% want quality health care as their top priority, 59.8% want good and secure jobs, 54.3% want security for their lives and property, 50.8% want increased road safety, 48.2% want government help for small and medium-size enterprises and 37.0% want government to provide them with housing.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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