Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bulgarian Prosecutors to focus on ATM skimming devices.....

An announcement was recently made in the Bulgarian press stating that some prosecutors are going to become specialists in dealing with ATM skimming devices. This is a good thing, as is the addition of new staff to the relevant department.

Bulgarian nationals are possibly the second largest ethnic group perpetrating skimming crime across Europe. While the people actually planting the devices are often arrested, they are the foot soldiers in an organised criminal operation.  Even when convicted, the most cash that can typically be recovered is what is actually found on them, in accounts related to them, or in a premises associated with them.  This can be a drop in the ocean when compared to fraudulent losses faced by the issuers of the cards that have been skimmed.  Also the sentences passed out for this form of crime vary across Europe, but can be very low.

The majority of the proceeds of skimming attacks are believed to often be repatriated to the criminal's country of origin.  As no crime has been committed in that country, the local police do not always have an incentive to push dealing with this form of crime up their agenda.  Nonetheless law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in countries where skimming attacks have taken place, need to deal with police and prosecutors in the criminal's country of origin to maximise recovery of stolen assets. That is why the announcement that some prosecutors in Bulgaria are going to become specialists in investigating crime related to ATM skimming devices is a good thing.................and another positive step taken to push tackling this form of organised financial crime higher up the agenda of the European Commission and the Member States.

For more information visit the website of the Sofia News Agency.

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