1 May 2013

Romanian pair admit ATM charge

8:11 pm on 1 May 2013

Police have welcomed guilty pleas by two Romanian men caught preparing to fit a skimming device to a money machine on the Kapiti Coast.

Catlin Lechia and Bogdan Pavelescu pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court on Wednesday to preparing to commit a crime in a public place.

The court was told Lechia pretended to use an ATM (automatic teller machine) while Pavelescu checked some sample colour cards against its colour.

The police prosecutor said that was to enable them to attach a camera of a matching colour to the machine with which they could read card details and PIN numbers when customers used it.

Judge Anthony Walsh convicted the men and fined them $1000 each, plus court costs.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Van Den Heuvel said the men's arrest, plus the interception of three others at the border shows international criminals that New Zealand is not an easy target.

Lechia and Pavelescu will be deported to Romania on Friday.