Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents arrested today, Friday, a Chinese man who was allegedly found concealing ATM skimming devices.
Xiaolin Yang was arrested and taken to the U.S. District Court for the NMI this afternoon, Friday, for the offense of illegal possession of device-making equipment.
Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy set a detention hearing for May 4 at 9am. Attorney Mark B. Hanson was appointed as counsel for Yang. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe appeared for the U.S. government.
According to FBI special agent Haejun Park in his affidavit, Yang arrived on Saipan onboard Asiana Airlines Flight No. 625 from Hong Kong via Incheon Korea.
Park said during immigration processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Yang acted suspiciously so he was required to undergo additional screening.
Park said during this additional screening, ATM skimming devices were found inside his luggage.
Park said Yang acknowledged that he received the devices in China from his friend, who instructed him to just bring them to Saipan and that the friend would follow him.
Park said recognizing the appearance of the seized green-colored card readers, he went to Bank of Guam in Garapan and confirmed the illegal card readers were an exact match with the factory-installed card readers present on the bank’s ATM machines.
Last April 9, the FBI released 10 photos of individuals wanted by the FBI for questioning in connection to the recent electronic thefts from First Hawaiian Bank accounts held by Saipan residents. It is not clear yet whether Yang is one of those in the photos.
FHB stated that card skimming through their ATMs was believed to be the cause of the unauthorized transactions made in various FHB accounts.
More details to follow.