Teller machine ‘skimmers’ plead guilty

Two Canadian men from Quebec pleaded guilty to charges of trying to “skim”  Westpac ATM’s to obtain bankcard and PIN information.

Hoang Nguyen, 39, and his nephew Quang Nguyen, 28, were jointly charged with two charges of accessing  computer systems – both Westpac automatic teller machines – with intent to dishonestly obtain bankcard information.

Elizabeth Bulger, defence counsel for Hoang Nguyen, said her client was very keen to get back to Canada as soon as he could, but knew it was likely he would get a prison sentence.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll remanded the men in custody to be sentenced on May 15. He asked for a pre-sentence report for each man and told them it was highly likely a sentence of prison would be imposed on the charges.

The police summary of facts said the men were card “skimming” with a hidden card reader device on ATM machines, and a hidden camera they attached to the machines to capture the PIN numbers the customers entered on the key pad.

The men arrived in New Zealand on February 26, 2018, on three-month visitor’s visas.

Between that date and March 3, the men installed a camera onto the Westpac ATM machine in Seaview Mall, New Brighton, and they also worked on the machine at the Westpac branch at Eastgate, Linwood, on March 1.

The men did not access any money from the machines before they were caught.

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