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Hamza Bendelladj, the Algerian alleged bank hacker responsible for defrauding US banks of millions of dollars has been detained in Thailand, following three years of FBI tracking.
Working in conjunction with FBI officials, Thai Police detained Bendelladj at Bangkok airport on Sunday as he attempted to board a connecting flight to Cairo from Malaysia.
Hamza is accused of of hacking into the private accounts of more than 217 banks and financial companies worldwide, stealing millions of dollars in the process.
According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Bendelladj, a Computer Sciences graduate, told Thai Police Lieutenant General Pharnu that he spent the money ‘on travelling and a luxurious life, like flying first class and staying in luxurious places’.
The tools of Hamza’s trade were relatively simple, he was carrying two laptops, a tablet, a satellite phone and a handful of external hard drives when he was arrested.
At a press conference, a grinning Bendelladj denied Thai claims that he was on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list, saying ‘I’m not in the top 10. Maybe just 20th or 50th’, concluding, ‘I’m not a terrorist.’
Author Alan Martin, ESET