taiwan
The men are part of a network of criminals who used malware to break into 41 First Commercial Bank machines in three different cities in July 2016. Photo: EPA

By Concise News Correspondents 

Reports in Taiwan say three Eastern European men have been jailed over the theft of $2.6m (£2.1m) from cash machines around the Asian country.

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It was gathered that the men are part of a network of criminals who used malware to break into 41 First Commercial Bank machines in three different cities in July 2016.

They were shown on CCTV walking away with bags of cash, even though most of the money was recovered promptly after.

And there are reports that police in Thailand believe the case is linked to a similar theft there.

For breaching computer security, Latvian Andrejs Peregudovs, Mihail Colibaba from Romania and Niklae Penkov from Moldova were all convicted by a Taipei court.

It was learned that prosecutors had asked for 12-year jail terms, as they said thhe actions of the men “seriously disrupted financial order and caused public panic”.

And in response to the robbery, banks temporarily froze withdrawals from over 1,000 cash machines.

Reports also have it that another 19 suspects, including one French national and one Australian, are believed to have fled the country.