Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Men jailed for Edinburgh cash machine fraud

Two men have been jailed for two-and-a-half years for obtaining cash from ATMs using fake debit cards and pin numbers.

Hungarian Krisztan Racz, 31, and Romanian Horea Dumitru, 22, pleaded guilty to carrying out the fraud in Edinburgh on 1 March.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that an off-duty policeman had caught the pair using the cards.

Passing sentence, Sheriff James Scott told the pair that custody was the only option.

Earlier the court heard that when police had raided the pair's flat in Edinburgh they found a card-cloning factory complete with a variety of equipment.

Officers seized £1,140 in cash along with 24 false fascias, computer programmes on laptops, mobile phones, memory cards and gift cards designed to make counterfeit cards.

Sheriff Scott said they had pled guilty to "very serious charges".

"You were involved in a carefully planned and premeditated act of fraud and you were in possession of equipment for committing further such acts," he said.

"Furthermore, you were effectively caught in the act."

At an earlier hearing fiscal depute Ruth Ross-Davie said the off-duty police officer had spotted the pair acting suspiciously and inserting various cards into the machines.

She said: "The cards transpired to be cloned cards.

"Racz and Dumitru had formed a plan to obtain money by attaching a false fascia to the ATM machine and using these cards to obtain money."

Defence agent for Dumitru Kenny McFarlane said: "There was no element of financial gain to either of the accused and that is because of the good work of the police."

The jail terms were backdated to 2 March, when Racz and Dumitru were first taken into custody.

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