Officials are currently investigating the theft of 1.4 billion yen (approximately $13 million) in a heist that targeted 1,400 ATM machines across Japan earlier this month.
Japan’s national daily The Mainichi reports the heist occurred on the morning of Sunday, May 15th.
Police believe that over 100 individuals used counterfeit credit cards containing account information leaked from South Africa’s Standard Bank to target automated teller machines in Tokyo and 16 prefectures across the country.
The heist lasted approximately two hours. During that time, thieves used the information stolen from approximately 1,600 Standard Bank customers to conduct 14,000 unique ATM transactions.
Each transaction resulted in the withdrawal of 100,000 yen, the maximum amount of money that can be taken out from the affected ATMs at one time.
Standard Bank has described the heist as “a sophisticated, co-ordinated fraud incident” involving a “small number” of fake cards that used some of its customers’ account information, writes the BBC.
The South African financial organization went on to say, however, that it “contain[ed] the matter” and that none of its customers suffered any losses themselves.
Both Japan and South Africa are working with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to look into the details of the heist, including how the account information was stolen.
In the meantime, Japanese investigators are viewing security camera footage in an effort to identify those responsible for the coordinated fraudulent transactions.
No arrests have yet been made in connection with this incident, though Japanese police have placed suspects belonging to a Malysian group of criminals on an international watch list.
Other countries have recently been successful in bringing carders and ATM theft groups to justice. Earlier this spring, the Romanian National Police and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crimes and Terrorism (DIICOT) arrested several members of an international criminal organization who allegedly used Tyupkin malware to manipulate ATMs and empty each of the affected machines’ cash cassettes.