Romanian scammer could be Caribbean fugitive

| 31/03/2015 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A member of a Romanian gang of fraudsters who was recently convicted in a credit card scam on local retail banks may be a fugitive from the law in Sint Maarten in connection with a similar offence. Ianaca Vlismas, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges, was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday alongside co-conspirator Roland Pop but the case was adjourned in order to give the crown a chance to confirm details of another conviction he may have in the eastern Caribbean Dutch territory.

Prosecuting counsel Toyin Salako told the court that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) had received information from Sint Maarten that Vlismas is wanted on that island as he was convicted of a similar credit card scam there but fled the jurisdiction before he was sentenced. The crown’s lawyer told the court that law enforcement agencies from Sint Maarten have contacted Cayman and are requesting extradition when Vlismas’ case here is dealt with.

But Vlismas’ attorney, Laurence Aiolfi, told the court that his client denies having any conviction on that island, despite having been there. The defence lawyer said the crown had not disclosed any evidence that there was a conviction, as he argued for the court to press ahead with sentencing for both Vlismas and his co-conspirator, Pop, as intended and on the basis of good character because the men were anxious to know, and had a right to know, their pending fate regarding their sentence.

However, the judge said he would give the crown time to find out if he is “a fugitive from justice”, and if he has any other convictions that relate to the offence. Justice Charles Quin said he felt it would be “foolhardy to proceed” without finding out because of the possible impact on the sentencing in this case. The judge said he didn’t think there had been an unreasonable delay as the group were arrested in December.

Vlismas’ and Pop were arrested shortly after they committed the offences, using cloned credit cards to draw cash from ATMs with another Romanian couple, Florin Roata and the only woman in the gang, Mariana Oprinoiu.

While Opriniou has denied all the charges against her and will now face trial, her boyfriend, Roata, pleaded guilty Tuesday to an additional count of money laundering, an offence he had previously denied. Roata, who had admitted being part of the conspiracy, told the court via an interpreter Tuesday (31 March) that he did not deny the money laundering charge but did dispute the amount alleged by the crown of almost $20,000. The crown said it was willing to accept that plea, cancelling the need for him to be tried, and would discuss his claims concerning the amount with his attorney.

The crown has also revealed that it would be seeking a compensation order in accordance with the proceeds of crime law, as the police had seized around $100,000 from the gang when they were arrested, which has been scheduled for 18 May.

The sentencing case hearing was adjourned until 10am 15 April.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous
    This is another good job, similarly to the recent murder and bank and CITN robbery convictions by the so-called keystone cops but is it too much to say good job guys? People are free to speak but as a society we have fallen so low that we are in haste to tear down our fellow citizens and values. While we need to constantly work to improve and challenge bad conduct or outdated systems we still have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate. For example, our rich diversity which has become the great divider instead of the great uniter. CNS has started a section to do just that please use it as an opportunity to celebrate the things and people that should make us all proud. All we need is love and stay positive. Too much negative vibes.

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