Software piracy ‘kingpin’ captured in Bangkok

US pushes for extradition

A Ukrainian man alleged to be the mastermind behind a multi-million dollar computer software piracy racket has been captured in Thailand.

Maksym Vysochansky, 25, who was arrested in Bangkok Monday evening, allegedly sold US$ 3 million worth of computer software, "resulting in damage worth up to $1 billion to the US software industry", Bangkok paper The Nation reports.

Vysochansky, compared by The Nation to Frank W Abagnale Jr from the film Catch Me If You Can, is on the US Secret Service's most-wanted list, the paper reports.

"This guy was on the US Secret Service's 10 most wanted list. He's definitely a big shot," a US embassy spokesman told AFP, describing Vysochansky as a "kingpin" of international computer crime.

Unlike various currency counterfeiters and credit card fraudsters, Vysochansky appears nowhere on the US Secret Service Web site. Nor is he on the FBI's ten most wanted list.

Surely the US authorities aren't trying to inflate Vysochansky's position in order to pressure the Thai authorities into a swift extradition? Heaven forbid.

Vysochansky has been sent to the Bangkok Remand Prison pending further legal proceedings. ®

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