One skimmer acquitted, one sentenced to 27 months

ATM Credit Card


Source: Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – The court in first Instance acquitted 42-year old Robert Adrian M. of skimming ATMs back in 2014 together with two others. The defendant was not present for the trial. A second defendant, Ianacu Bogdan Vlismas, was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment in absentia. In December 2014 the third suspect in this case, Cristian Mocano was already sentenced to 30 months.

Mocanu and Vlismas were sentenced for skimming the ATM of the Windward Islands Bank on Clem Labega Square for $4,200.

The three men, all from Romania, came to the island at the request of a man named Jurrie. They arrived on July 9, 2014. Three days later they were all arrested while they were sitting in a car in the Clem Labega Square parking lot. According to a statement from Vlismas, the men would each get 10 percent of the proceeds from their skimming activities.

In the car the police found a large number of forged credit cards on the parking lot and $4,200 in cash in the car.

Vlismas was not present for the trial, nor was he represented by an attorney.

Robert M. was not there either, but attorney Shaira Bommel pleaded his case.

The public prosecutor considered the case against M. and Vlismas proven and demanded 30 months of imprisonment against both men.

Bommel asked the court to acquit her client for lack of evidence. The ATM does not show images of M. trying to pin money, but there are images of the other two defendants.

“The bank cards were found on Clem Labega Square, not in the possession of my client. In his hotel room they did not find anything either. It is true that they traveled together from Jamaica to St. Maarten but there is no proof for close and conscious cooperation of my client with the other two.”

The Judge considered the case against Vlismas clear but he had more trouble with the role of Robert M. “It seems that they went skimming the three of them but there is not much that points to M.’s guilt. Only the other suspects point to him as one of the perpetrators.”

The defense was unable to exercise its right to question Vlismas as a witness because he cannot be found. “Without those statements there would not be any evidence,” the judge noted. “Using these statements would be a violation of the European human Rights Treaty. For this reason I will not use them and acquit the defendant.”