Country-hopping casino thieves busted after landing in Spain


So close, but yet so far.  Three casino thieves must have thought they had created the perfect get-away plan for their heist, but they only left a trail of international breadcrumbs that made it easy to follow their country-hopping adventure.  Now, two of them will have to answer for their crimes after being nabbed through an Interpol bulletin, but the third still remains on the run.

country-hopping-casino-thieves-busted-after-landing-in-spainThe story goes something like this, although certain details still remain up in the air.  Korea Times reports that the three individuals made their way to South Korea on February 6.  Their departure point hasn’t been identified, but what is known is that two of them are Peruvian and the third is from Hong Kong.  They entered the country together using fake passports.

Once they were in the country, they probably enjoyed a little sightseeing and makgeolli before putting their robbery plan in motion.  On February 7, that plan was hatched, and they visited the Kangwon Land casino, where they were allegedly able to open a slot machine cash box and take off with around 24 million won ($20,000).  There isn’t much information on how this was accomplished, but it’s highly unlikely that it would have been a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Only a couple of hours after the heist, the two Peruvians – one, a 45-year-old male and the other a 32-year-old female – were on their way to Bangkok on an airplane.  This is part of the reason it would seem that the trio had hatched their scheme well in advance of their trip.

Bangkok wasn’t the final destination, though.  From there, they took another flight that had a short layover in Doha, Qatar.  After that, it was on to the final destination, Madrid, Spain.  The pair were reportedly arrested as soon as they tried to pass through border control at the Madrid-Barajas International Airport.

Given the fact that the two crooks gave law enforcement plenty of time to track them down – they were confined to airports and airplanes for most likely close to 24 hours – they shouldn’t have been surprised with their capture.  Even fake passports can still be tracked, and facial recognition has advanced significantly that even trying to switch identifications would be a virtual exercise in futility.  South Korean police had put out an alert and got Interpol involved to issue a red note detention order.

Needless to say, the two are now in custody and are waiting to be extradited back to south Korea.  As for the Hong Kong accomplice, a man in his 30s, he was the only one who reportedly was able to get away.