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Tokyo cops make arrests in another ATM heist

Sansei Tanaka (left) and Yasunori Hamamoto
Sansei Tanaka (left) and Yasunori Hamamoto

TOKYO (TR) – Following arrests for a coordinated nationwide theft from ATM machines earlier this year, Tokyo Metropolitan Police have charged three persons in connection with a similar heist that took place last year, reports Nippon News Network (Nov. 24).

On December 27 of last year, at least 75 thieves used forged cards encoded with data from an El Salvador bank to withdraw a total of roughly 105 million yen from ATM machines in seven administrative districts nationwide, including Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.

As a part of the investigation, police have charged Sansei Tanaka, 37, Yasunori Hamamoto, 32, and Tomoyuki Chiba, 38, with unlawfully withdrawing 1.8 million yen from a convenience store ATM in Shinagawa Ward.

Chiba, who has been charged with theft, denies the allegations while the other two suspects admit to the charges.

The crime was very similar to another heist that took place this year. On May 15, a gang of thieves that used forged credit cards with data leaked from a bank in South Africa to steal approximately 1.86 billion yen from ATMs nationwide in 2.5 hours on that same day. The gang targeted more than 1,400 ATMs in convenience stores nationwide.

For the case this year, police have arrested more than 100 persons, including multiple organized crime members.