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CCB smashed counterfeit bank card syndicate

     Police Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) conducted an operation yesterday (June 8) and neutralised a syndicate engaged in the production and use of counterfeit bank cards. A 28-year-old male two-way permit holder from the Mainland was arrested.

     CCB earlier received intelligence about a syndicate that used counterfeit bank cards to withdraw funds from automatic teller machines (ATM) in Hong Kong. It was believed that the magnetic strips of these counterfeit bank cards were encoded with data stolen from some overseas bank accounts.

     After thorough investigations, officers of CCB conducted an operation yesterday morning and arrested a 28-year-old male two-way permit holder from the Mainland at a guesthouse in Yau Ma Tei area, with the seizure of a significant quantity of equipment suitable for manufacturing counterfeit bank cards, including card encoding device, skimmer, laptop computer, tipping machine, etc. During the operation, officers also seized 82 counterfeit bank cards, a large quantity of ATM receipts, USB memory sticks, internet banking security authentication tokens, some HK$60,000 cash and an air pistol. It was believed that the syndicate had stolen some HK$1 million and Police¡¦s operation is still continuing.

     The man was arrested for using and possessing a false instrument and possessing equipment for making a false instrument. He is still being detained for further enquiries.

     Police appeal to the public to properly protect their bank card data with the following advice:

1. Keep the bank cards properly and avoid being stolen by others;
2. Carry and use your own padlock when temporarily keeping your valuables at public lockers, such as those located at entertainment premises.  Upon withdrawing your valuables, immediately check whether everything is correct. Inspect and make sure that your bank cards and banknotes in the wallet have not been swapped by counterfeit ones;
3. Avoid placing the personal identification number (PIN) and bank card together and never use any PIN that can be easily identified, for example, your date of birth, telephone number and Hong Kong Identity Card number;
4. After paying bills with bank card, make sure you have been returned your own card;
5. Destroy bank letters containing bank card data and customer copies of card payment before disposal; and
6. Check your bank statements against any abnormal transaction. Inform your card-issuing bank at once of any suspicious transaction or not receiving regular bank documents.

     Police are determined and capable of combating any illegal acts affecting business operation in Hong Kong. We will continue to work closely with the banking industry, and Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies to deter transnational illegal activities.   
Police Report No. 12

Ends/Thursday, June 9, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:11


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