Isabel Hayes

Two members of a Romanian organised crime gang made dozens of fake credit cards and used them in Dublin shops in the wake of a “deep” skim of UK bank customers’ details, a court has heard.

Daniel Almajanu (35) made fake cards using a card reader/writer machine, while Albert Gimy Linul (29) visited various shops buying things with the fake cards, including cartons of cigarettes which were then sold on.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that during an extensive skimming operation in the UK, a Romanian criminal gang based there used a “deep insert skimmer” to collect details of customers of the HSBC bank outlets.


Both Almajanu and Linul were “considered to be members of that organised crime group,” the court heard. The court heard that Almajanu made fake cards using this information and then gave the fake cards to Linul.

Cigarettes

Linul of Prussia Street, Dublin used the cards to buy cartons of cigarettes on a number of occasions in several newsagents in Dublin and these cartons were sold on for profit.

Garda Ciaran Ronan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau told the court that Linul stole a total of £1,185 from the UK bank.

Linul pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing a total of 60 fraudulent bank cards at various locations in Dublin between February 13th and February 14th this year.

He also pleaded guilty to eight counts of using a fake HSBC bank card at a number of Dublin shops, ten counts of theft and two counts of attempted theft from HSBC on dates between November 1st, 2019 and February 4th, 2020.

Temple Bar

Almajanu, of North Circular Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of having custody of 53 fake bank cards and one count of making 65 fake bank cards at various locations in Dublin between January 1st and February 13th this year.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a laptop specifically designed to make false cards.

Both men were arrested when gardaí noticed them acting suspiciously in Temple Bar in February this year. A number of fake cards were found on them and in Almajanu’s car.

Gardaí found more cards in the Prussia Street flat, along with a Lenovo laptop and a card reader/writer machine used for making fake cards. A number of cartons of cigarettes were also discovered.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing to February 3rd next.

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