Members of an ATM card skimming gang that counted the husband of Irish president Mary McAleese among its victims have been jailed.
George Cioara, Vasile Martin, Bogdan Scantei, Vlad Condriuc, Adrian Morosan and Costel Asimioanei received sentences ranging from 16 months to 10 years at Dublin Circuit Court.
According to local press reports, an investigation was initiated after Martin McAlees reported EUR5000 missing from his bank account.
Gardai found CCTV footage from a branch of Ulster Bank in Terenure, Dublin showing Vasile Martin installing a device on the door of the bank lobby in December 2009. Asimioanei was then monitored placing a miniature camera on the ATM inside the lobby.
Detective Garda Alan Murphy told the court that customers have to swipe their card to get into the branch lobby. The device placed on it by Martin recorded McAleese's details and his PIN was then recorded by the camera on the ATM.
The crooks then made a counterfeit card and used it to withdraw around EUR5000 over two months.
In February 2010, Morosan placed skimming device and camera in the same branch, leaving a fingerprint behind. Later that month gardai had put Asimioanei under surveillance and observed him doing the same thing at the same branch. Scantei was then seen removing the device.
The men were arrested near by and the equipment was found hidden in a hedge. Cioara and Condriuc were arrested later in possession of a laptop containing skimming software, video files of people at ATMs and 1900 credit card numbers.