A South African bank became a victim of a bank heist 10,000 miles away, after a group of criminals stole $13 million out of cash machines on another continent using fake South African credit cards.
The thieves used around 1,600 forged credit cards to withdraw the money from 1,400 individual cash machines across Japan, according to local media, including the Kyodo agency.
The cards were allegedly created using data stolen from the South African Standard Bank Group(), which has no apparent connection with Japan.
It took the group just over two hours to steal the money from the Standard Bank, withdrawing the maximum amount of 100,000 yen ($913) in 14,000 individual transactions, the media reported.
The bank estimated its total loss at 300 million South African rand ($20 million), and called the heist a “sophisticated, coordinated fraud incident.”
The thieves used a network of ATMs run by Seven Bank across Japan. The Japanese bank confirmed an incident took place, saying it is working with the police.
The Seven Bank said it didn’t suffer financial loss as a result of the incident, and reassured its customers and investors their money is safe.
Seven Bank is one of only two banks in Japan that accept foreign-issued credit and debit cards, according to Japan National Tourist Organization.
The bank is owned by Seven & I Holdings Co., the parent company of 7-Eleven. It operates 21,000 ATMs that are located within the 7-Eleven stores across Japan.