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TOURISM police have detained two foreign suspects who allegedly stole the equivalent of billions of baht online from people in many countries.
The suspects have been identified as Russian Dmitry Ukrainskiy, 44, and Uzbek Olga Komova, 25. They were arrested at the request of the FBI, which began investigating the duo in 2014 after intercepting several monetary transfers to Thailand.
Tourism Police chief Pol Maj-General Surachet Huckparn said that after getting the request from the US law enforcement agency, an initial investigation found that Ukrainskiy had settled in Pattaya in Chon Buri province and set up at least three companies that rented rooms and offered a yacht service.
Surachet said Komova worked as a receptionist and translator at a hotel in Trat province.
“They jointly wrote a program that sent malware to hack users’ names and passwords at targeted bank accounts. Their victims are in the United States, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany,” he said.
The pair then allegedly transferred the stolen money to their accounts and laundered it through the businesses in Thailand.
The Anti-Money Laundering Office has already frozen at least 50 bank accounts in the suspects’ names that contained billions of baht.
Police believe the pair have other bank accounts as well.
Both suspects entered Thailand on tourist visas but have travelled in the country so many times that they can speak fluent Thai.
Police will conduct an extensive investigation into their operations and businesses to see if there are other hackers in the country before the two are handed over to the FBI.