Ac­cused of ATM skim­mer scam

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Court Reporter

A lengthy trial, in which a man is ac­cused of in­stalling a card skim­ming de­vice at a bank ATM in Blair­gowrie more than four years ago, looks set to have been avoided.

Perth Sher­iff Court was told on Mon­day this week that 33-year-old Alexan­dru Bizau was “ea­ger to seek a res­o­lu­tion”to an 18-charge in­dict­ment by way of an agreed plea with the pros­e­cu­tion.

De­pute fis­cal John Mal­pass said he had dis­cussed the mat­ter with the ac­cused’s lawyer who an­tic­i­pated there should be no need for a trial.

More than 40 pros­e­cu­tion wit­nesses had been lined up by the Crown and there were scores of pro­duc­tions in the case which was ex­pected to last at least five days.

Bizau, de­scribed as a pris­oner at Perth, is ac­cused of in­stalling a de­vice in the card reader of an au­to­mated teller ma­chine (ATM) at the Co-op, Perth Road, Blair­gowrie, while act­ing with an­other un­named in­di­vid­ual, on July 16, 2013.

He is then said to have at­tached a video record­ing de­vice above the PIN pad and at­tempted to ob­tain bank cards and their as­so­ci­ated num­bers with the in­ten­tion of us­ing them to fraud­u­lently ob­tain goods, ser­vices and money.

He also faces charges of steal­ing bank cards from other ma­chines in Auchter­arder, Ar­broath, Cal­lan­der and Kir­riemuir and on four oc­ca­sions us­ing their PIN num­bers to ob­tain more than £2000 from the au­to­mated ma­chines.

In ad­di­tion, he is said to have fraud­u­lently used debit cards to ob­tain goods worth almost £1600 at var­i­ous out­lets in Perthshire and An­gus.

They al­legedly in­clude El­lie’s Cel­lar, High Street, Auchter­arder (£612), the Spar, Auchter­arder (£238) and Lloyds Phar­macy, also Auchter­arder (£115 and £622).

Some of the charges, said to have taken place be­tween July 16 and Septem­ber 16, 2013, al­lege that the ac­cused was act­ing with other un­named in­di­vid­u­als at the time.

A fi­nal charge al­leges that Bizau failed to turn up for a Perth court ap­pear­ance on July 24, 2014, af­ter he had been granted bail on Septem­ber 25, 2013.

A fur­ther court hear­ing was ar­ranged for October 31 and Bizau was re­manded in cus­tody.

No bail ap­pli­ca­tion was made on his be­half.

out event and train­ing day at the Perth Race­course – in­clud­ing sev­eral hail­ing from east Perthshire.

Pre­sen­ta­tions in­cluded poli­cies af­fect­ing land-based busi­nesses, land re­form, ru­ral plan­ning, agri­cul­tural hol­i­days, and dis­cussing new leg­is­la­tion for res­i­den­tial land­lords.

Other work­shops in­cluded en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in tra­di­tional build­ings, the elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions code, and re­new­able en­ergy.

Sarah-Jane Laing, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Scot­tish Land and Es­tates (SLE), said: “Pol­icy and leg­is­la­tion af­fect­ing ru­ral busi­nesses is con­stantly evolv­ing and it is vi­tal that land man­agers are fully up to speed with the po­lit­i­cal and leg­isla­tive land­scape.

“We were pleased to wel­come land man­agers from right across Scot­land to the event and it is clear from lively dis­cus­sions that there is a con­tin­ued de­sire to im­prove busi­ness prac­tice and ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness growth. The Scot­tish coun­try­side re­mains very much open for busi­ness.”

Clive Phillips, head of land and ru­ral busi­ness at Brodies LLP, added: “Ru­ral Scot­land is facing ma­jor chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties with Brexit and land re­form on the agenda.

“The ru­ral sec­tor is a valu­able part of the Scot­tish econ­omy and has the po­ten­tial to be­come even more so. There­fore it is im­por­tant that the sec­tor can at­tract and re­tain the very best land man­agers for the fu­ture. Brodies is de­lighted to sup­port this event in shar­ing knowl­edge with those who are lead­ing the sec­tor for­ward.”

Mark Fog­den, Sav­ills’ head of es­tate man­age­ment, said: “We are de­lighted to be in­volved in this im­por­tant event as now, more than ever, land man­agers need to stay on top of their game.

“Af­ter a rel­a­tively quiet year to date, the sec­tor is deal­ing with a raft of new is­sues from sport­ing rates, many of which will need to be ap­pealed, to the in­tro­duc­tion of the pri­vate res­i­den­tial te­nancy and the mod­ern lim­ited du­ra­tion te­nancy.

He added: “Change is un­doubt­edly in the air, but this can be as much a great op­por­tu­nity as it is a chal­lenge - a chance to en­tre­pre­neur­ial land man­agers to trans­form and im­prove ru­ral busi­ness.”

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