Two Eastern European Nationals Behind Scam Targeting ATM Sites

Eastern European Nationals Behind Scam Targeting ATM Sites

Two Eastern European nationals have recently been found guilty and sentenced for their involvement in a “sophisticated” card-skimming racket that targeted ATM sites in Brisbane. One of the offenders was arrested at an Upper Mount Gravatt property.

Robert Marincat, a 34-year-old Romanian, and Hubert Krawczyk, a 22-year-old from Poland, were sentenced by Brisbane Magistrates Court for their roles in the ATM scam. The two were represented by Beavon Lawyers and faced charges related to card-skimming devices installed at ATM sites in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall and Browns Plains.

The gadgets used in the scheme were delivered to Australia camouflaged among electrical equipment, according to the court. These gadgets have pinhole cameras that film unsuspecting bank clients inputting their PINs and keep crucial information. Furthermore, the card skimmers put at the ATM locations had magnetic strips meant to collect the card numbers of clients.

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CCTV footage revealed by Police prosecutor Jenny James show Krawczyk and a third individual, who will also face court at a later date, inserting the pinhole camera and skimmer at a National Australia Bank ATM in Queen Street Mall. Moreover, similar devices were also discovered at a NAB ATM in Browns Plains.

Surveillance then led the police to arrest the men at the mall as they attempted to leave. The following day, Robert Marincat was apprehended at an Upper Mount Gravatt property, where he was found in possession of identical devices.

Jenny James emphasised the organised nature of the operation, with custom-built devices being shipped in from other countries. She pointed out that these offences were committed shortly after both Krawczyk and Marincat arrived in Australia.

The scam carried significant potential consequences, Ms. James explained, since the defendants could have reaped substantial gains if the card skimmers at multiple ATM locations hadn’t been promptly intercepted by NAB staff and the police.

The offenders pled guilty to various counts, including having equipment for committing a crime and acquiring another’s identification information. Krawczyk also pleaded guilty to obstructing police.

Brendan Beavon of Beavon Lawyers argued for the release of his clients, highlighting that neither had a criminal history, and both had already spent over 40 days in custody. He went on to say that they were unlikely to profit financially from their acts and that they may risk deportation if they were released.

Magistrate Andrew Moloney said that whilst there is no proof that the perpetrators benefitted in any manner, they are nevertheless severe examples of this conduct. He emphasised that they strike at the heart of the financial system.

Both Marincat and Krawczyk received 12-month jail terms that were suspended after three months. They will be held for another six weeks before being released.

Published 21-September-2023