ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Police have arrested three mechanics for allegedly blowing open an automated teller machine (ATM) on February 23, before escaping with over MYR300,000 in cash.
Selangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan said the men were arrested following several police raids in the towns of Kuang and Meru in Selangor.
“Interrogations led to their confession in the case on February 23, as well as in two other cases in Meru in December 2020 and February last year. The mastermind of the group is a 43-year-old man who works as a mechanic in Kuang,” he told reporters at the Selangor police headquarters on Thursday.
He said the suspects are believed to only target machines from one specific bank because the machines “were not updated”.
“The suspects are believed to have bored a hole in the machine and pumped in oxyacetylene gas,” he said.
“Once they pumped in enough gas, they would ignite it to blow open the machine.”
The heist, over in just minutes, took place at a bank in Setia Alam in the wee hours of February 23.
It was believed that the notes in the machine were protected by “ink spraying technology”, a method where the notes are automatically stained with an indelible ink when attempts at ATM tampering are detected.
Commissioner Hussein said the suspects were caught as they were cleaning the notes with bleach.
“We seized over RM202,400 in MYR50 and MYR100 notes, which were being washed by the suspects.
“We also got clothes with ink on them that we think the suspects wore during the incident, as well as cellphones and other things,” he said, adding that the suspects are being remanded for seven days.