Local authorities arrest Ghanaian national suspected of masterminding ATM hacking ring

Have you been withdrawing money from certain ATMs (automatic teller machines) lately? Did you notice something wrong with the same accounts you withdrew money from? The Manila Bulletin reported that in recent times, personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) aided by the Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) arrested a Ghanaian national on suspicion of masterminding a ring of hackers that targeted ATMs. The same news report showed some interesting details about the suspect.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives have arrested a (Ghanaian) national posing as a missionary but is suspected to be the mastermind of a West African syndicate hacking automated teller machines (ATMs).

Immigration intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. said 34-year-old Victor Patrick was apprehended in a joint operation with the Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) last Oct. 14 in a mall in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Manahan said the ISAFP reported that the alien was the principal suspect in hacking ATM machines installed by banks in Moonwalk, Paranaque City.

Manahan said Patrick arrived in the country last April 20, 2019 as tourist and later applied for a missionary visa using a Cebu-based company which turned out to be non-existing.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said Patrick will be deported for obtaining an immigration document under false representation.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Did you withdraw money from ATMs in Parañaque that the suspect allegedly hacked? If so, did you notice discrepancies on your account related to the withdrawals you made?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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