Man arrested in Taiwan for installing pinhole camera at post office ATM

Man arrested in Taiwan for installing pinhole camera at post office ATM
PHOTO: The China Post/Asia News Network

TAIPEI, Taiwan- Keelung City police apprehended a suspect on Monday for allegedly setting up a skimming device and pinhole camera on a post office's automatic teller machine (ATM).

Police received reports on Dec 23 of unidentified objects attached to a post office ATM on Ren 2nd Road. After receiving the report, police proceeded to the location and identified the objects as a skimming device and pinhole camera, immediately removing them from the ATM.

Authorities identified the suspect as 24-year-old college dropout surnamed Chu after compiling crime scene evidence, CCTV footage, and interviews with witnesses. Afterward, police waited on Monday night at an area around Taichung's Jenn Lann Temple and apprehended Chu after he emerged from an Internet cafe.

During police inquiries, Chu confessed he wanted to find work to make ends meet, and applied for a "high salary professionals needed" job opening seen on a flyer insert.

The writer of the advertisement, identifying himself as "Brother Chen" contacted Chu, and told Chu he would earn NT$5,000 (S$215) for installing a skimming device on ATMs, plus extra cash bonuses upon completing the task.

"Brother Chen" also instructed Chu about the setup process through a video tutorial. Chu thought that by traveling 170 kilometers to Keelung and returning to Taichung he would not be caught, but the police had already targeted him.

Chu allegedly arrived at the post office at 6.10 pm on Dec 23 to install the skimming device and pinhole camera. But due to nervousness, he took half an hour to complete the task. Knowing that the battery for the devices lasted for an hour, Chu planned to retrieve them at 7.40 pm, but he fled after seeing post office personnel and citizens crowding in front of the ATM after noticing the devices.

According to authorities, 25 people used the ATM after Chu had installed the devices. Post office personnel and police notified citizens to reset passwords or change ATM cards as a response. Police turned Chu over to the district prosecutors office under suspicion of offences of fraud and offences against privacy, and will expand investigations in search of potential accomplices.

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