ATM Gang begins trial

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-01-2020 12:23:00 · 0 Comments

Coimbra Court is starting on Monday the trial of 13 defendants suspected of belonging to a group that is believed to have stolen more than €2 million in attacks on at least 87 cash points (ATM) across Portugal.

Over 80 attacks on the machines took place between September 2016 and December 2017 in several parts of the country, such as Lisbon, Setúbal, Évora, Leiria, Coimbra and Porto, and the operation stopped after three of the main suspects were arrested by the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) force, when they were returning from another robbery.

According to the indictment, to which Lusa had access, the group used explosives to break into the ATM terminals, in operations where each of the members obeyed strict rules accepted by all.

Before the robberies, the members carefully selected the ATMs, trying to understand the brand and model of the terminal, through debit card movement consultations, having a preference for the ATMs of a version of the Baussa brand, which were older and more outdated and with fewer security mechanisms, the public prosecutor (MP) said.

For the robbery, the group used previously stolen cars and used stolen license plates from other vehicles.

It was common at the scene of the theft to damage the security video cameras, also taking with them portable radio transmitters/receivers and several pieces of clothing to change after the crimes were committed.

According to the prosecution, for the robbery, in addition to the material necessary for the robbery, the group was equipped with firearms, such as revolvers and AK-47 rifles, and fire extinguishers that could spray against the police vehicles in case of pursuit.

The three main members are charged with various crimes of aggravated theft, possession of a prohibited weapon, forgery of documents, explosion, fear and money laundering, with five of the 13 accused being held in pre-trial detention.


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