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Bulgarians tried over attempted ATM fraud

Defendants Veselin Todorov (right) and Georgi Steffanov Hadzhirusev are escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, where they were tried for alleged ATM fraud.
Defendants Veselin Todorov (right) and Georgi Steffanov Hadzhirusev are escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, where they were tried for alleged ATM fraud. Hong Menea

Bulgarians tried over attempted ATM fraud

Three Bulgarians staying on tourist visas were tried at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for allegedly trying to steal money from an ATM machine in the city.

The trio were accused of using a dummy card reader, known as a skimming device, to steal customers’ bank details at an ANZ Royal ATM on Norodom Boulevard in Tonle Bassac commune.

Judge Mong Mony Sorphea named the suspects as Veselin Todorov, 48, his girlfriend, Dermendzhieva Yonka Petkova, 26, and Georgi Steffanov Hadzhirusev, 28.

On the morning of September 23, he said, the trio went to the ANZ Royal Bank and attempted to use a skimming device to extract money from the machine, but the attempt failed.

At about 4pm on the same day, he added, they returned to the ATM with the intention of stealing cash, but this time were arrested by district military police.

Following their arrest, dozens of card skimmers and fake ATM cards were confiscated from the accused, according to police.

The Bulgarians confessed to their crime, but appealed for a minimum sentence, insisting they had not succeeded in stealing any cash.

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