SINGAPORE - Two brothers from China came to Singapore with the sole purpose of stealing money from bank accounts here using forged ATM cards.
Zhao Yukun, 36, and Zhao Yuxin, 30, withdrew more than $12,000 from multiple ATMs in various locations in January and April this year.
Their actions came to light after an assistant vice-president of United Overseas Bank (UOB) made a police report on Feb 27, when one of the forged cards was retained and found in a UOB ATM in V Hotel Lavender in Jellicoe Road.
The brothers pleaded guilty to their crime on Thursday (Sept 6).
Zhao Yukun was jailed for three years on six charges of theft, one charge of dishonestly retaining stolen property and one charge of possessing equipment for making the false ATM cards.
Zhao Yuxin was jailed for six months on two charges of theft.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan told the court the brothers had flown to Singapore on Jan 20 this year, carrying a number of cloned ATM cards. The duo stayed at V Hotel Lavender.
Just after 11.50pm on Jan 21, they used the cloned cards at the ATMs in the hotel. They successfully withdrew $1,000 from the OCBC Bank ATM, but had a failed transaction at the UOB ATM.
They returned to China on Jan 23.
The older Zhao returned on April 20 - this time with 40 cloned ATM cards. He once again stayed at V Hotel Lavender.
From April 21 to April 24, he made unauthorised withdrawals at various ATMs, avoiding detection by wearing a white cap, sunglasses, surgical mask and gloves, and only committing the deeds late at night.
He had intended to leave Singapore on April 25, but was arrested at 12.20am on April 24 when leaving a UOB ATM in King George's Avenue.
A total of $12,587 was found in his hotel room, along with a laptop and an encoder device, which Zhao used to forge ATM cards, said DPP Tan.
Zhao Yuxin was arrested on May 14 at about 12.15am, when he entered Singapore at Changi Airport Terminal 1.
For each count of theft, a person can be jailed for up to three years and fined.