Belfast Telegraph

‘Card scam’ probe is a global affair, court told

A cash machine cloning scam uncovered in Co Down formed part of an alleged international fraud inquiry stretching as far as Russia, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said an “overwhelming investigation” was under way after police seized dozens of phone top-up cards containing bank account details which sell for up to £1,000 each.

Details were disclosed as one of the accused, Ionel Paraschi, applied for High Court bail.

The 26-year-old, with an address at Carrigart Crescent, Tullygally, Craigavon, is accused of going equipped for theft by having mobile phone top-up cards, latex gloves and various tools.

He also faces charges of possessing articles for use in frauds and handling stolen goods, namely 233 Debenhams gift cards.

Paraschi denied any involvement in cloning or skimming cards, the court heard.

Declan Quinn, defending, argued that his client has no criminal record and was likely to be kept in custody for at least 15 months before the case reaches trial.

Adjourning the application, the judge said he was allowing time for checks to be carried out on an Armagh-based Romanian couple prepared to act as sureties.

Belfast Telegraph

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