Harrow gang admit targeting 60,000 bank cards in £16m scam

More than 60,000 credit cards were targeted in a £16m scam a gang of fraudsters have admitted setting up.

Florin Silaghi, Vasile Pop, Ovidiu Metac and Adriana Turc were involved in the scam which saw bank card details worth millions stolen.

The gang, Romanian nationals who operated out of Harrow, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey.

They are due to be sentenced on Thursday. The maximum jail term for conspiracy to defraud is 10 years.

'Highly sophisticated'

The court heard the gang was involved in scamming bank card data from ATMs, downloading it onto a computer and then copying the details onto counterfeit plastic cards.

Money was then transferred to Panama, Romania, Italy and Colombia using MoneyGram and Western Union.

In total, 953 bank accounts were compromised with £161,607 taken, the court heard.

Prosecutor Catherine Pattison said it was "a large scale, highly sophisticated, well executed ATM and counterfeit fraud".

She said Silaghi 30, of Kenton Lane and Pop, 30, of Kenmore Road, were the key players while Metac 25, and his partner Turc 27, both of Welldon Crescent, had lesser roles.

Silaghi also admitted possessing criminal property relating to bank details, making a scamming device and possession of an identity document with improper intention, while Pop pleaded guilty to two counts of the transfer or acquisition of money.

Metac, pleaded guilty to having bank details on a computer, having counterfeit plastic cards, ATM card slots and a fake photo identity card while Turc pleaded guilty to having bank account details on a computer and two counts relating to the transfer or acquisition of money.

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