10 Apr 2012

Four accused of electronic card fraud

8:02 pm on 10 April 2012

Four Canadian men charged with being part of an organised criminal group relating to electronic card transactions will remain behind bars until the end of the month.

The four men briefly appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon flanked by police officers and showing little sign of emotion.

Chea Sina, Mario Rivas, William Alexandre Rivera-Rivas and Kevin Roberto Flores Roldan were arrested over the weekend.

The four are accused of dishonestly obtaining 10 eftpos keypads valued at $621 for the purpose of stealing money. The men have also been charged with fraud-related offending.

At the same time, New Zealand banks are investigating complaints from dozens of customers who say money was taken from their accounts over Easter.

The BNZ says about 100 of its customers have been affected with about $30,000 taken from its customers' accounts.

Kiwibank says its fraud team has identified that a single eftpos machine used at a retail facility in Auckland could be responsible for the illegal operation.

Leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers says the rise in theft of electronic card data is a worldwide problem.

The company's director of forensics, Stephen Drain, says one risk can be when when a card leaves the sight of its owner during a transaction.