NewsCrime Desk

Men found with sophisticated ATM skimming equipment

File picture of skimming equipment
File picture of skimming equipment

Two Eastern European men aged in their late 30s are in custody after gardai found sophisticated ATM skimming gear in the car they were travelling in.

The men were pulled over and searched in the Raheny area of north Dublin on Tuesday evening.

Gardai discovered specialist machines which can be used for skimming.

The men were arrested and last night were being questioned at Raheny Garda Station.

"This was a very good capture and these individuals were caught with loads of stuff which is still being analysed," a source said.

"All the indications are that they are members of an organised gang heavily involved in this type of crime."

Skimming involves criminals placing spy cameras on ATMs.

Once installed, they are used to record data and PIN numbers from people's cards at the ATM.

The criminals then use the information from cloned cards to withdraw cash at different locations around the world.

Gardai are trying to establish if the men arrested on Tuesday are linked to a gang that was busted at Dublin Airport in November 2013, when three Romanian nationals were arrested and two sophisticated skimming machines were found.

It is understood that gardai are expecting an influx of foreign criminals to come into the country for the St Patrick's Day and Easter Rising celebrations.

Gardai have been monitoring the activities of an Eastern European crime gang who have been involved in ATM skimming and distraction robberies in locations such as Ranelagh and Blanchardstown in Dublin, Ashbourne and Dunboyne in Meath, as well as Wicklow, Cork and Galway already this year.

In October 2014, it emerged that gangsters were installing skimming devices on machines inside shops for the first time.

Gardai launched Operation Glint in January 2012 to target ATM thieves after banks reported a rise in the number of skimming incidents, and this investigation is still ongoing.