Two Ukrainians arrested for allegedly robbing 23 ATMs of Russian Sberbank in Bosnia
A small city of Bihac in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a western Balkan country, became a starting point for a large-scale criminal investigation after local police accidentally detained on Feb. 2 two Ukrainian citizens Dmytro Boyko and Olexandr Zaytsev.
Alarmed by suspicious behavior, police officers stopped the two on the street of Bihac. As police searched them, they found plastic bags with fake credit cards and over $50,000 allegedly stolen from local cash machines of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported on Feb. 4.
Ukrainians Boyko and Zaytsev couldn’t explain to police the origin of the money, so they were arrested and put for two months in a pre-trial detention center in Bosnia.
On Feb. 1–2, they allegedly emptied 23 Sberbank cash machines, stealing around $1.5 million in Sarajevo and 15 other cities across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian news agency Zurnal reported on Feb. 7.
But the crimes didn’t stop after the two suspects had been detained. Russian Sberbank reported another robbery on Feb. 4 in the northern Bosnian city of Orasje. The police allege that the group of thieves is much bigger than just the two Ukrainians and it operates not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in neighboring Montenegro, according to daily Bosnian newspaper Oslobodenje.
The group has allegedly stolen $8.4 million in total from the Sberbank cash machines in Bosnia and then fled through Croatia to Hungary, OCCRP reported, referring to its sources in the police. No additional details have been disclosed.