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Editorial: Kudos to our border security for job well done

Editorial: Kudos to our border security for job well done
Bulgarians Simeon Stefanov Minchev, Veliko Zhelev Velikov and Plamen Dimitrov Petrov
December 12
11:33 2017

Bulgarians Simeon Stefanov Minchev, Veliko Zhelev Velikov and Plamen Dimitrov Petrov probably thought Fiji was still out of touch with modern, high-tech robbery techniques

They must have thought our border security and police were still in the dark ages and there was no way to detect their criminal intentions.

These visitors had arrived in the country with skimming devices, computer chips and laptops to loot money from Fijians.

Well their thoughts were completely wrong about our abilities to detect these criminal acts.

Lautoka Magistrate Mosese Naivalu best summed it up when he said “No foreigner should ever be allowed to enter the country to engage in trying to skim money out of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) at the expense of Fiji’s hardworking citizens who earn decent wages.”

Mr Naivalu heaped praise on Fiji Customs and Revenue Services officer Navneet Singh, who noticed the suspicious behaviour of Velikov and Petrov, who were first to arrive into the country on November 8, while in the baggage hall at Nadi International Airport.

After hauling the pair into a room, he found in their possession a laptop, multi electronic cables, a card reader, two Samsung mobile phones, a wallet containing three ATM cards. The next day when Minchev arrived they found in his possession two mobile phones, a Samsung Galaxy S4 with 54 magnetic cards, Lenovo mobile phone with 84 magnetic cards, packet of rubber bands and ear piece, a leather wallet containing 69 magnetic cards, 10 different types of credit cards, laptop, two wigs, a digital meter and other small items.

These three had come to Fiji to steal money from ATMS and the most frightening aspect is despite all the technology about and security, it showed how it could simply be done.

A skimming device was spotted in time by Bred Bank’s Lautoka staff Ravneet Prasad and then another discovery at Westpac in Namaka swung our Fiji Police Force into action.

The rest is history as the three are now looking at Fiji from behind bars and will be doing so for the next 377 days.

The three underestimated our capabilities, but best of all this showed that our border security is functioning well.

It showed that we are not unaware as some people would like to think.

It also highlighted the fact that our border security is well aware of the latest criminal operations and how they operate.

Singh’s keen and sharp eyes at the baggage hall at Nadi Airport showed our border security is alert to people who are intent on carrying out their dirty work here.

For the hardworking Fijians, everyone needs to thank Mr Singh and his band of customs officers, border police and airport security for their work, which most times goes unnoticed and without appreciation.

For if it wasn’t for Mr Singh’s trained eyes, many, would certainly have had a disastrous and probably penniless Christmas.

And If Mr Prasad had not spotted that skimming device at Bred Band Lautoka, the consequences would have dished out a cruel blow to customers’ savings accounts.

As well as the Fiji Police Force for its early arrest and conviction of the three.

So while criminals from outside Fiji will now know that they can’t mess with our border security, that does not mean our officers can take their feet off the pedal.

We musr keep striving for more security advice from our international partners to keep our country out of reach from these people who steal for a living.



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