Latvian resident arrested in Taiwan over €2m ATM cyber robbery

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Police in Taiwan have arrested three suspects from Eastern European countries, including one from Latvia, that the police believes hacked into the ATMs of a major local bank withdrawing more than NT$83m or €2.35m, reported via Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) Monday.

The CNA has identified the suspects as Andrejs Peregudovs (Latvia), Mihail Colibaba (Romania) and Niklae Penkov (Moldova). According to the authorities, the three are part of a criminal ring consisting of 16 people. 

They are accused of targeting ATMs of Taiwan's First Bank, using malware to withdraw money from a total of 51 machines on July 9 and 10.

Taiwanese authorities have retrieved about NT$60 million of the stolen money, much of it found Sunday night in the hotel room where Colibaba and Penkov were staying.

Peregudovs was reportedly arrested by police in the north-eastern county of Yilan after being spotted by an off duty police officer at a restaurant.

Police said Peregudovs has told them he cannot reveal much as he fears the "Russian mafia will harm my wife and kids". He says he was recruited to take part in the operation as he owed a debt of €3,000, according to Taipei Times.

CNA reports that the suspects in the heist came from six nations -- Russia, Moldova, Estonia, Romania, Latvia and Australia. Russian citizens Sergey Berezovskiy and Vladimir Berkman have also been identified as suspects, however they appear to have fled Taiwan.

The ring was uncovered due to the diligence of Taiwanese citizens, as well as using footage from security cameras. 

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