Woman found guilty in Romanian card scam

| 19/05/2015 | 9 Comments

(CNS): A Romanian woman accused of being a conspirator in a scheme to steal money by cloning credit cards was found guilty of criminal possession Monday when the verdict was delivered in the Grand Court. Mariana Opriniou was tried on two counts, and while Justice Michael Mettyear found the woman was knowingly in possession of criminal property, she was found not guilty of the charge of conspiracy to defraud.

Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courthouse, George Town

The judge stated that there was no way that Opriniou, as an intelligent woman, could not have known about the acts that her boyfriend Florin Roata, who has admitted his part in the crime, was committing. However, he said there was no real evidence against Opriniou to prove that she was a part of the conspiracy.

Opriniou, who was tried last month, will now be sentenced this Thursday, along with the co-conspirators, who have already pleaded guilty.

When he delivered his verdict, Justice Mettyear said “I can’t believe Roata that she knew nothing about the conspiracy. She would have been an unpredictable risk.”

He said that Roata had hidden the money and other incriminating evidence not from Opriniou but the hotel maid as it was “nonsensical” for him to hide things from her in her own clothing. “Opriniou knew what happened, where the money was hidden, and where the money came from,” the judge concluded, adding that “she either hid the cash herself or knew in which case criminal possession has been proven by the crown.”

Roata, Ianaca Vlisma and Roland Pop were all charged with using cloned cards to withdraw varying sums of cash from local high street ATMs. Allegedly part of a gang of fraudsters, led by another man who has never been apprehended, the three men and Opriniou were arrested in December and have been held on remand since.

While the three men admitted their part in the conspiracy, Opriniou had consistently denied knowing anything about the crime or her boyfriend’s part in it. The men were caught on CCTV using the fraudulent cards but Orpiniou was arrested based on the fact that PIN numbers for the cloned cards were found by the police hidden in her bra and cash was concealed in the leg of her jeans in the couple’s luggage.

Jaida Alexander, an intern with CNS, contributed to this report.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The problem also surfaced in Australia,that affected many thousands of people.It would appear the motive was to travel abroad & infiltrate credit card issuing banks & vendors with false cardholder info , PIN numbers . URL link to the news.com.au article:http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/cybercrime-alert-on-credit-card-fraud/story-fndo4dzn-1226527054509

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good. This kind of Eastern European scumbag has already settled like a biblical plague in Europe and the UK. Immigration now needs to draw up a list of proscribed nationalities and shut the door on them for good.

    • Ignor Amus says:

      Wow.!

    • Anonymous says:

      And that, folks, is our first CNS message from an internet time-traveller in 1936 Germany.

      • Anonymous says:

        Written by someone trapped in the Cayman Islands ‘it will never happen here’ syndrome – trust me if this scourge ever really hits these islands you won’t be so cynical about it. If their economic impact on countries the size of the UK and Australia is noticeable the effect here could be devastating.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:32 you need to check your history. Romania joined the Axis in 1940 and supplied Hitler with troops for the Eastern Front in 1941. The country also provided oil to the Nazis and their oilfields were heavily bombed by the USAAF – check out Operation Tidal Wave. You are confusing Romanian with the Romani or Romany people, who are something completely different.

        I was out there 25 years ago in the post-Ceauşescu orphans relief drive. We came on a road accident where one of the locally produced Renaults (a Dacia) had hit a truck head on – people were stripping the car while the dead bodies of the driver and passenger were still in it. When we asked our interpreter why they were doing that he said, “Because it’s there.” They didn’t need the parts, they couldn’t use the parts, they couldn’t even sell them on but they were still going to steal them anyway. I left three days later and have never been back. How do you describe the country politely? You can’t, there’s an element of society there that is so morally corrupt it defies definition and you don’t want them anywhere near the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:41 We must have been there around the same time. I was with a team that rebuilt one of the orphanages. A week after we finished it had been stripped. The building was just a shell again, they even took the new windows and doors, the kids were back sleeping on the concrete floor with no light or heat.

          Since then I’ve worked in some pretty nasty places but have never seen anything like that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t take your anger at your own failed life out on others.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2729928/Romanian-Crime-gang-targeted-60-000-bank-customers-16million-fraud-stealing-pin-numbers-ATMs-face-jail.html

      The real question now must be why this gang was allowed into the Cayman Islands in the first place and how our normally so efficient Immigration Department failed to get any hint that something might be wrong here.

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