Thai police nab suspect wanted for hacking by FBI
Thai police arrested an Algerian national on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's top-10 wanted list for allegedly making millions from cybercrime, officials said Monday.
Hamza Bendelladj, 24, was arrested late Sunday while attempting to transit through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport from Malaysia, Immigration Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Phanu Kerdlabpol said.
"We were tipped off to his arrival by the FBI, who have been following his case for the past three years," Phanu said.
Bendelladj, who graduated in computer sciences from college in Algeria in 2008, has allegedly hacked private accounts in 217 banks and financial companies worldwide, amassing "huge amounts" in illicit earnings, the police commissioner told a press conference.
"With just one transaction he could earn 10 to 20 million dollars," Phanu said. "He’s been travelling the world flying first class and living a life of luxury." A satellite phone and notebook computer were his main tools, Phanusaid.
Thailand will seek to extradite Bendelladj to the US state of Georgia, where a court has issued a warrant for his arrest.
A smiling Bendelladj, who was present at the press conference, denied that he was on the FBI’s top-10 most wanted list.
"I’m not in the top 10, maybe just 20th or 50th," Bendelladj said with a laugh. "I am not a terrorist."