Four members of an ATM card skimming gang who could have stolen as much as £200,000 have each been gaoled for four years.
The four men, all from Eastern Europe, put fake cash machine fascias onto the front of ATMs in Cardiff and filmed cardholders entering their PINs. The gang are thought to have netted up to £200,000 between January and February this year.
Lucian Carabgeac, 32, and Vornicu Florin, 26, both from Romania, and Ivan Grosu, 23, from Moldova, are illegal immigrants, while Rulan Aslan, 20, is an asylum seeker from Chechnya. All four admitted to conspiracy to steal and received sentences of four years each.
The London-based gang were caught when staff at Cardiff's Cathedral Hotel became suspicious and called the police. Investigators found electronic equipment including computers, cameras, tape recorders, radio transmitters and a false fascia of a cash machine in their hotel room and car. Police also recovered the card details of 129 accounts.
The court heard how the false front had been fitted with an electronic card reader and memory recorder to retain card details. This data would then be transmitted and downloaded to a nearby laptop using a wireless link.
In sentencing, Judge Christopher Llewellyn-Jones also recommended that all four men be deported when they are released.