Russian 'hacker' arrested in Bangkok

Thai police arresting Russian national Sergey Medvedev.
Thai police arresting Russian national Sergey Medvedev.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BANGKOK • A Russian man accused of co-running an international cybercrime network shuttered in a US-led crackdown this week has been arrested in Bangkok and will face extradition, Thai police said yesterday.

Mr Sergey Medvedev, 31, is accused of co-founding the "Infraud Organisation," an online network that stole and sold credit card and other personal identity data, causing US$530 million (S$705 million) in losses, the US authorities said.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice indicted 36 people on charges of racketeering conspiracy and other crimes for their roles in the crime syndicate. Thirteen defendants hailing from around the globe were arrested in the United States and six other countries - Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.

Mr Medvedev was not listed as one of the 36 suspects charged but was described in the indictment as co-administrator of Infraud with its Ukraine founder Svyatoslav Bondarenko, who remains at large.

Police armed with automatic weapons swooped on his Bangkok condo on Feb 2, making the arrest before US officials indicted other alleged members of the ring.

"(Medvedev) is now being detained at Bangkok Remand Prison waiting for US authorities to take him for prosecution in the US," said police officer Nuthapon Rattanamongkolsak from the Crime Suppression Division.

The US Embassy in Bangkok declined comment.

The Russian national frequently travelled in and out of Thailand over the past six years on tourist visas, Mr Nuthapon said, adding that he expected Mr Medvedev to be extradited within the month.

Infraud was founded in Ukraine in 2010 and sold itself on the slogan "In Fraud We Trust". It became the "premier destination" on the Web for buying goods with counterfeit or stolen credit card information, according to the US authorities.

The organisation, which had 10,901 approved "members" by 2017, also provided an "escrow" service for transactions in cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2018, with the headline 'Russian 'hacker' arrested in Bangkok'. Print Edition | Subscribe