Two Romanians were today fined $10,000 each after pleading guilty to a number of criminal offences including money-laundering.
However, at the end of today’s sitting at the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court 22-year-old Ionut Sticlan and 25-year-old Antonio Marian Dumitru remained in the custody of HMP Dodds as they awaited the payment of the fine which carried an alternate nine-month prison term.
As a result of reports of ‘skimming’ lawmen received information about two males driving in a hired vehicle and seen at one of the local resorts. The visitors were subsequently detained. A search revealed a number of cards with adhesive tape attached with four digits written on them and cash. Video footage was also retrieved showing the men, who were staying at different locations, visiting a number of ATMs and pushing the cards into the machines, police constable Kevin Forde revealed as he outlined the facts.
“This type of matter is really serious . . . and when I do the cost analysis it is better to [impose a fine] instead of keeping you in prison and costing the taxpayers money,” Magistrate Douglas Frederick said as he imposed the forthwith fine.
He also ordered that Sticlan and Dumitru be handed over to the immigration officials when the fine is paid. The magistrate’s order extended to the forfeiture of the money found in [their] possession and cost re deportation for both accused in favour of the Crown.
Attorney-at-law Jamila Burgess who mitigated on the accused’s behalf informed the court that the men’s families were trying to wire the monies to the Barbados to pay the fine.