The men, all from Eastern Europe, used malware to rob 41 First Commercial Bank ATMs from three cities and were seen “walking away with bags of cash, though most of the money was recovered shortly afterwards.” Authorities believe mobile phones may have been involved in the scheme.
The length of the sentences has not been disclosed, but prosecutors demanded 12-year terms, saying they “seriously disrupted financial order and caused public panic.”
Authorities announced they are dealing with an international group of criminals, as there are 19 more suspects, including an Australian and a French national who may have already left the country. The three men in custody are Andrejs Peregudovs from Latvia, Mihail Colibaba from Romania and Niklae Penkov from Moldova.
“This is the first time that an international team of ATM thieves has committed a crime in Taiwan,” Lee Wen-chang, Head of the Criminal Investigation Division, said in July.
Thai authorities believe this case may be connected to a similar theft from ATMs in their area involving $340,000.