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Conmen deported after bank scam

PUBLISHED: 12:46 24 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

A MONEYMAKING scam used in Suffolk has resulted in three Romanian asylum seekers being jailed and deported.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how a device called a "Lebanese Loop" was used to steal bankcards from bank machines.

A MONEYMAKING scam used in Suffolk has resulted in three Romanian asylum seekers being jailed and deported.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how a device called a "Lebanese Loop" was used to steal bankcards from bank machines.

Judge John Holt said: "The purpose of the conspiracy was to use what is described as the Lebanese Loop to acquire bank cards then use those cards to get money.

"I will not describe the method of how the loop works as it might encourage others to do the same."

He said to the defendants: "This was a sophisticated criminal process and it had the potential to make you a lot of money."

Romanians Doru Patrau, 27, and Marian Prisecaru, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. A third defendant, 29-year-old Adrian Holban, admitted seeking to remain in the UK by deception.

Prisecaru admitted driving around the south east of England swindling cash from bank machines with Patrau.

During a search of Patrau's home various items relating to the making of "Loops" were discovered. Both men admitted using the device.

Judge Holt added: "In the car was also found a Skinner device which would enable cards to be read and cloned and I'm quite sure you were both quite aware of that device."

He said he accepted the defendants were not the "ringleaders" behind the deception, but believed they were quite high in the chain, as they had been trusted to work alone.

The court heard that deportation notices had been served on all three men and each would be sent back to Romania when they had served half their sentence. (The usual practice is for a prisoner to be released on licence half way through a jail term.)

Patrau and Prisecaru were jailed for 15 months and Holban was sentenced to six months in prison.

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