'Skimmers' who hit McAleese for €5,000 are jailed
MEMBERS of a Romanian ATM skimming gang, some of whom targeted the President's husband, have been jailed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Dr Martin McAleese had his ATM card skimmed by some of the group who later created a copy and used it to withdraw €5,000 from his account.
Other members of the group were also found with skimming equipment including a laptop containing 1,900 credit card numbers and footage of people entering their PINs into ATMs.
George Cioara (27), Vasile Martin (36), Bogdan Scantei (27), Vlad Condriuc (25) and Adrian Morosan (19), all of no fixed abode, and Costel Asimioanei (28) of Dara Court, Celbridge, Kildare, yesterday received sentences ranging from 16 months to 10 years. Another man is awaiting trial while an eighth accused is on the run.
Chief investigator, Detective Garda Alan Murphy told prosecuting counsel Colm O'Briain BL, that CCTV footage from the Ulster Bank in Terenure showed Vasile Martin installing a skimming device on the door of the bank lobby at 12.45pm on December 13, 2009.
Asimioanei was monitored placing a camera on the ATM which recorded Mr McAleese entering his PIN.
On February 11, 2010, Morosan was spotted acting suspiciously in the Terenure bank and it later emerged he placed a camera and skimming device on the door and ATM.
By February 26, 2010 gardai observed Asimioanei installing a camera on the same ATM.
A short time later Scantei was seen entering the bank and removing the device.
Gda Wayne Donnelly told the court that on May 3, 2010, he and a colleague stopped Cioara, Condriuc and another man in a Romanian registered BMW.
They found a laptop containing skimming software, video files of people at ATMs and 1,900 credit card numbers.
On May 5, 2010, gardai searched a room in Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley where they found Martin, Morosan and another man. A laptop was seized and all were arrested.