By Roy Ramos and Hader Glang
Police in the Philippines announced Friday the arrest of an international cash machine hacker who numbers Microsoft founder Bill Gates among his victims, local media reported.
Bulgarian Konstantin Simeonov Kavrakov, 31, was arrested after allegedly withdrawing cash from an ATM machine in Quezon City on Thursday, the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) said, citing Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission Executive Director Reginald D. Villasanta.
According to police, Kavrakov, who was jailed in Paraguay in 2011 for stealing thousands of dollars from Gates’ account, was seized in a sting operation as he used fake bank cards to withdraw cash from a branch of PS Bank. He was allegedly found in possession of 76,570 Philippine pesos ($1,720).
Coincidentally, Gates, the world’s richest man according to Forbes magazine, is believed to be currently holidaying in the Philippines with his wife Melinda.
Kavrakov was arrested as part of Operation Jugador, which targets foreign nationals engaged in cyber-crime and illegal online gaming, the PNA reported.
“We’re also looking at other possible companions of Kavrakov when he arrived in Manila,” Villasanta said.
The Bulgarian is suspected of belonging to the Super Hacker Bulgarian Group, an international cyber-crime gang who began operating in the U.S. and Europe in 2004.
Police Supt. Milo Bella Pagtalunan, of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Kavrakov moved to the Philippines in late 2012 or early 2013, GMA News reported. (Anadolu Agency)