Customer helps catch cash point scammers
THREE Eastern Europeans were arrested after a “rather observant” lorry driver spotted that a supermarket cash machine had been tampered with, a court heard.
He found that the card slot was loose and removed it and took it into staff at Asda in Kimberley Road, Ashford.
It was then discovered that a “skimming” device and a camera had been fitted to two cash machines.
Police checked CCTV film and saw the three men acting suspiciously.
Now, Andrius Paskauskas, Khuril Radulescu and Roman Strelchuk have each been jailed for two years after admitting being in possession of articles for use in fraud.
Ian Foinette, prosecuting, said the customer realised there was something a little strange when he used the cash machine on July 26.
He was forced to cancel his card because he feared it had been cloned, the prosecutor told Maidstone Crown Court this week.
Police inspected the CCTV footage and were able to obtain the registration number of the BMW car Paskauskas, 30, Radulescu, 29, and 24-year-old Strelchuk were using.
It was located heading into Kent by automatic number plate readers at the Dartford crossing.
When arrested, various skimming equipment was found in the car. There was also a credit card in a different name from the three.
Mr Foinette said he had been unable to find out their immigration status. “It may be they are due to be detained under the Immigration Act,” he added.
Martin Fox, for Strelchuk, said his client had arrived in the UK, aged 17, from Moldova in 2002 and was given leave to remain until he was 18.
When it expired, he lodged an appeal. “It is either in abeyance or no decision has been reached,” said Mr Fox. “He has worked continuously in construction.”
Strelchuk lived with his girlfriend, a hairdresser, and they hoped to get married.
Judge Jeremy Gold QC told Paskauskas, of Deptford, south east London, Radulescu, of Alresford, Essex, and Strelchuk, of Barking, Essex: “All three of you were involved in prevalent offences, all illegally trying to get money from cashpoint machines.
“The courts have a duty to make it clear to people like you that such offending will not be tolerated.”
Ashminster House staff and residents with the Snow Queen Christmas cake