Fraudsters steal 1.4 billion yen (£8.7 million) from 1,400 ATMs in Japan in just two hours

A gang of sophisticated thieves netted 1.4 billion yen (£8.7 million) in a huge ATM heist in Japan in just two hours, according to reports.

It is believed more than 100 people performed coordinated cash withdrawals from 1,400 ATMs with fake credit cards from the details leaked from a South African bank, reports The Mairichi.

According to the Japanese national newspaper, police are working with South African authorities through Interpol to investigate the major theft and how the credit card information was leaked.

The fraudsters struck across Tokyo and 16 prefectures (the areas Japan is divided into) on the morning of May 15, police told the newspaper.


Members of the criminal gang are thought to have made 1,400 transactions, withdrawing the maximum 100,000 yen allowed per transaction. They targeted cash points at 7-Eleven supermarkets, which accept foreign cards.

South Africa's Standard Bank estimated its total losses at $19.25m.

In a statement Standard Bank, the bank which the data was stolen from, said it was "a sophisticated, coordinated fraud incident" involving a "small number" of fake cards.

It added it had "taken swift action to contain the matter" and customers would not suffer the losses themselves.

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