Court allows 3 Romanians in ATM fraud to post bail

By Jessa Mae Sotto |October 03,2018 - 11:02 PM

THE court has allowed the three Romanian nationals who were arrested for their alleged involvement in automated teller machines (ATM) fraud in Cebu to post bail.

Judge Ramon Daomilas of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City has allowed Ionut Alexandru Mitrache, Ion Costel, and Razvan Aurelian Stancu to post bail of P300,000 each.

“After evaluating the arguments posed by the parties, the court finds the motion to post bail meritorious,” part of the order dated Sept. 28, 2018 read.

The foreigners are facing cases of theft and violation of Republic Act 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The court, however, denied the suspects’ plea to dismiss the charges against them.

“On the other hand, the court does not find any merit to the motion to dismiss. The execution by the private complainant of her affidavit of desistance does not entirely deprive the prosecution of its ability to prosecute and prove its case against all the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” Daomilas said in the order.

The three were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) in March 2017 after at least 50 persons claimed to have been victims of ATM skimming in some Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) branches particularly in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

The NBI operatives secured copies of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed near the three ATMs which showed the same facial features of the suspects.

ATM skimming is the installation of a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader saves the users’ card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.

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