Romanian cash machine scammers face jail

Two Romanians are facing jail sentences after they were caught trying to steal money from cash machines across Pembrokeshire.

Lucian Ghiurcuta, aged 29, denied six offences but was convicted of all of them after a trial at Swansea crown court.

Mihai Patrascu had already admitted the same offences and both at due to be sentenced on January 6.

During Ghiurcuta’s trial the jury heard how the men had travelled from their home in Wiltshire to fit copying devices onto cash machines that were able to gather data from the cards used by members of the public.

CCTV cameras captured the men interfering with machines in Pembroke and Tenby.

Judge Paul Thomas warned Ghiurcuta that a prison sentence was “very likely.”

But he granted him bail until January 7.

Meanwhile, Patrascu wrote to Swansea crown court asking for his bail conditions to be altered to allow him to fly to Romania and be with his mother over Christmas.

Judge Thomas said he noted that the flight tickets he had been shown copies of were for December 16, which meant that he had either missed his flight or was already back in Romania.

Neither was he impressed to note that the return flight appeared to have been scheduled for after the sentencing hearing.

“We don’t even know if he is still in this country,” said the judge.

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