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ATM Thieves Get 1.5 Years Prison

Two Men Who Helped Defraud More than US$600,000 From Bank Central Asia ATM Machines Get 1.5 Years in Prison from Bali Courts.

(6/21/2010) Two men convicted of debunking Bali bank customers of billions of rupiah using ATM machines have received relatively lenient sentences from the Denpasar courts.

Jawa Post reports that Agus Guntomo alias Black Sweet, 37, and Ngatemin, 38, were sentenced to 1.5 years imprisonment in connection with the theft of Rp. 5.8 billion (US$ 617,000) from the ATM accounts of customers of Bank Central Asia (BCA).

Chief judge Sigit Sutanto sentenced the men in the Denpasar District Court on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, to a one-half year less than the 2 year penalty requested by prosecutors for aiding and abetting a criminal act using the ATM system.

The "assistance" lent by the pair in the theft was in the creation of a hidden camera and related skimming system that recorded both the ATM Card details and passwords of customers. This information was then used to create bogus ATM cards that could withdraw funds from the accounts of their victims.

The skimmer and hidden cameras were used by the two in the middle of 2009 on an ATM machines located on Jalan Pulau Adi in Denpasar. The two told the court they were ordered to commit the crime on the orders of Hendri Hartanto who remains at large. The card data and password information once collected was sent to a man named Marinuf in Bulgaria who, together with Hartanto, created fake ATM cards.

The counterfeit cards were used for illegitimate transfer and withdrawals on January 16-17, 2010, done from ATM machines at 165 locations in Jakarta, Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia. Other fraudulent transactions were also performed in Australia involving 69 more ATM machines.

In handing down the sentence, the presiding judge said the criminal actions of the men not only caused losses to their victims but also caused widespread public unrest, both in Indonesia and abroad. In mitigation, however, the judge took into consideration the fact that the men had no previous criminal record, and freely admitted and regretted their wrongdoing.

The two men immediately told the court that they accepted the punishment and would not appeal the sentence.