A Japanese bank has reported another series of cash withdrawals involving the use of allegedly forged credit cards. Police are investigating a possible link to a similar case last month.
Officials from Seven Bank told police that about 100 million yen, or around 919,000 dollars, was withdrawn from its automated teller machines using apparently forged credit cards.
The officials say the withdrawals took place over a short period of time at convenience stores and elsewhere in Tokyo and 6 other prefectures on December 27th of last year.
The credit cards allegedly used information from a financial institution in the Central American nation of El Salvador.
Police are probing the withdrawals on suspicion of theft and other charges.
A similar case involving the use of allegedly counterfeit credit cards occurred on May 15th. Some 17 million dollars was withdrawn from about 1,700 ATMs at convenience stores and other locations nationwide in the space of less than 3 hours.
The forged credit cards in the May case were supposedly created using information possessed by a South African bank. Police believe a large crime organization is behind the alleged fraud.
Cash withdrawals from ATMs involving the use of forged credit cards had occurred in Japan before the latest cases.
In 2012 and 2013, around 40 million dollars was withdrawn with the use of counterfeit credit cards from bank ATMs in more than 20 countries, including Japan.
Tokyo police identified suspects, including foreigners, in connection with the withdrawal of about 8 million dollars. Some, including Romanians, were put on an international wanted list on suspicion of theft and other charges.
The credit cards reportedly used information from banks in Oman and other countries.
Source and image: NHK