Romanian cash card fraudsters get 12 months

| 11/03/2011

(CNS): In a case that was turned around it what appears to be record time, two Romanian nationals accused of an elaborate card scam have been sentenced to one year in prison. Paul Muresan and Vladimir Oprisor were charged with several counts of theft and attempted theft in connection with a cash machine fraud, in which the two men stole bank account information to make withdrawals using local ATM machines to access overseas accounts. The men were arrested on 16 February at the airport as they were trying to leave the Cayman Islands. The two men both pleaded guilty to the charges in Summary Court and were sentenced on 8 March, less than one month after they were first apprehended by the authorities. (Photo courtesy Cayman27)

In the original report the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit said that the men made a number of fraudulent withdrawals from cash machines in the George Town area. The bank involved advised the police that the cards used during the transactions had been seized by the machines. Police said the cards used by the suspected fraudsters were not legitimate bank cards but "poker cards" used in casinos. The metallic strips on the cards had been loaded with potential victims’ account details for overseas accounts.

The fraudsters also used the cards to make purchases at business premises and at the hotel where they stayed while in Cayman.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Cuba1961 says:

    March 14

    Four Romanians were arrested by Phuket police yesterday and charged with running an ATM card scam

    PHUKET: Four Romanians were arrested by Phuket police yesterday and charged with running an ATM card scam that is claimed to have stolen 100 million baht.

    The four were named by police as Gavrila Florin Eugen, 33; Ene Bogdan Constantin, 23; Vilvoi Claudiu Constantin, 36; and Gavrila Alexandra, 26.

    All four suspects were arrested at their rented room at the Azzurro Village Hotel on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road in Patong.

    In the room, police found 211 unformatted ATM cards and a “skimmer” that reads data from genuine ATM cards issued by banks. Once captured by the skimmer, that data can be printed onto "blank" ATM cards.

  2. Michel Lemay says:

    Congratulations to all involved in arresting , charging and convicting these felons. I too think that the punishment does fit the crime. Best if they would have been deported and consider them personna non grata or keep them in solitary so they don’t teach our own youth there for a stick of ganja new tricks of that nature. We still have to feed them. And tell Interpol when they are released as I am certain they did that on their way here also.

  3. Anonymous says:

     White collar crime is no less criminal than armed robbery. OK , so the aggravated factor of using a weapon and intimidating victims deserves a greater sentence. So if an armed robbery sentence is 8 – 10 years minimum, such white collar thievery should reap at least 5 – 7. They probably have a fat bank account somewhere from their activities, raid that and make them pay the Government for their own incarceration!

  4. Anonymous says:

    one year is not enough for this crime. They need to be taught a lesson that this is not any other country, but, the Cayman Islands. Is there limited space at Northward and a problem with the food ? Some savings for the budget is assumed by their time was cut short. I cannot see where this is a good example for others landing on our shores.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think our courts need to realize that each one of these crimes that is being committed is branding our islands as a crime infested country that will impact our tourist product. The other side to this story is that the time spent in the prison we have to feed them and look after them. So we get to reward them. Wow that is a slap in the face of Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Interesting how these two were charged, convicted and sentenced – and are now doing time. What is the difference between this case and the so many cases where there is no arrest at all and if there is an arrest, no conviction? Amazing how the justice system works so much better for outsiders.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously it has to do with quality of the evidence against them. Please we don’t need any expat vs. Caymanian nonsense on this subject.

  6. petermilburn says:

    How can we justify keeping them at about CI$56,000 each.SDend them home.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Compass article was more detailed and stated that both had legnthy criminal records and were just released from prison.  How were they allowed entry with criminal records? Doesnt Immigration check?

    • IRON CLAD` says:

      See… I forgot to mention (4) that we have a SLACK Immigration Department too so it IS SUPER easy for CRIMINALS to enter our Islands to join the FRENZY of crime we have here.

      Someone, just shoot me in the head! My brain can’t take any more of this damned UTTER FOOLISHNESS.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think that immigration can check tif they have a police record.
      We need to do two things:

      1. Hook up with interpol, FBI, Scotland Yard, etc so we have access to international criminal records.

      2. We would need laws requiring people (that come from any of these known scamming countries like Nigeria, Romania, etc) to have a visa to come here and one of the requirements for the visa would be a clean police record.

    • Anonymous says:

      I dont think we can criminal record check everyone who visits the Islands as a tourist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Romania is part of the EU. These men would have not required a visa to enter Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      And on top of that they only get a year??? Way togo courts, you just made a laughing stock of the system and encouraged yet more crime due to insignificant consequences to those who prefer to disobey the law.

  8. IRON CLAD` says:

    Holy Krap!!! This has got to be a !@#%&! JOKE. 12 months is like a slap on the wrist. Here we have two foreigners coming to the Cayman Islands to commit a well-planned crime… adding to the already staggering numbers of robberies we have and this is ALL they get. This sentence in my opinion, only serves as an INVITATION to other would-be foreign criminals to make Cayman their next EASY TARGET and  one with a slack justice system and criminal penalties for kids.

    Let’s think about it.  For those career criminals who are scrutinizing the news in every country around the world looking for CRIME-HAVENS (such as the Cayman Islands), they would certainly see that; (1) we have a VERY NON-PROACTIVE and NON-PREVENTATIVE policing strategy, (2) they will see that we have a HIGH RATE of CRIME with a very low rate of crimes being prosecuted and solved, (3) they will also see that our justice system & penalties are for kindergarten kids.

    This my people, is nothing less than an ABSOLUTE invitation for not only local criminals, but most certainly for more HIGH-PROFILE criminals from outside our borders.

    Mr Manderson, the Governor, the Police Commissioner and Lawmakers – WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? What are you ultimately going to do about CRIME in the Cayman Islands??? When are we going to see some REAL PRUDENCY here? WHEN???

    Maximus IRON CLAD


    • Dred says:

      I agree and disagree with you.

      This was actually quite amazing work by our financial and police units and should be said as that.

      Let’s keep in mind this all happened very quickly and no one would imagine they would not have simply flew away scott free. They may have done this in other countries with massive success.

      What will be taken from this event by would be criminals is this.

      1) The Cayman Islands is not an easy target. If you do this you have a good chance of being caught.
      2) The result of being caught is not severe.

      For someone thinking about doing something like this the INITIAL and PROBABLY ONLY IMPORTANCE is getting away with it. They don’t really care whether its 1 year or 10 years because they want to go and enjoy their spoils.

      NOW this sentence is CLASSIC example of impotent Judges. Let’s set this out all clear.

      This was a planned, financed event. These funds could be used for Terrorist or other illegal activities such as guns etc. For a judge to only pass a sentence of 1 year is shear stupidity. This was a moment where a judge could have made a global statement to criminals looking at us around the world and HE FAILED and FAILED MISSERABLY.

      Will this open the door to criminals? Probably not because they got caught and can’t enjoy their spoils BUT this sentence is the #1 reason why I believe some sentences should be taken out of the hands of judges almost completely. Our judges have failed us on many ocassions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    They’ll be out in 1 month and if you check Caymanian Compass there is an article there about people getting deported and then allowed back in. So they will be back in a few years to scam again.