A German electronics engineer who helped criminal gangs clone credit and debit cards that were used to steal thousands of pounds, has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Thomas Beeckman was employed by organised criminal networks to tamper with PIN Entry Devices in shops so that card details could be recorded, say UK police.
The gangs would steal the devices from shop counters throughout Europe and then bring them back to the UK where Beeckman would work on them.
His knowledge was so sophisticated that the printed circuit boards he inserted in to the devices recorded the data and then, on request by a nearby crook, downloaded it via Bluetooth.
The gangs then employed the information to create cloned cards which were used in countries such as the USA, where there is no chip and PIN system.
Beeckman was arrested on 8 June as he entered the UK from Holland, via Victoria Coach Station in London. A search of his possessions uncovered a series of circuit boards that would have been used in PIN devices for placement in Holland and Belgium.
Having pleaded guilty to one offence of possession of articles for use in fraud last month, he has now been sentenced to three years in prison.