August 10, 2017

A fraudster whose bedroom contained an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of card skimming equipment has been jailed for four years and six months.

When officers from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) raided Ciprian Staicu’s house in Hornchurch, Essex, in July 2017, they found state-of-the-art card skimming equipment and other items connected to fraud including computers and a 3D printer.

Officers also found a range of identification documents with Staicu’s picture on, which were later confirmed to be forgeries.

Most high street banks were defrauded by Staicu. An exact figure of the amount of fraud committed by Staicu is difficult to quantify, but 13,000 payment card numbers were located on storage devices linked to the fraud. These suggest his arrest will save the banking industry an estimated £4.5 million.

Staicu was jailed for four years and six months today (Wednesday August 9 2017) by a judge at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to the manufacturing and possession of articles used for fraud.

Detective Constable Martin Godsave, from the DCPCU, said:

“Ciprian Staicu’s house contained an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of equipment used to commit payment card fraud and I am pleased he has been punished for his crimes.

“This sentence should send a strong message to would-be fraudsters that you will be caught and brought to justice.”

Established in April 2002, the DCPCU has since achieved an estimated £486 million in savings from reduced fraud activity. The DCPCU is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit. It is sponsored by UK Finance, the new industry body representing around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payments-related services.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Charges and sentence received:

Ciprian Ion Staicu, DOB 26/12/1986, of Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch, Essex, charged with the manufacturing and possession of articles used for fraud: Four years and six months

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an ongoing brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.

UK Finance is a new trade association which was formed on 1 July 2017 to represent the finance and banking industry operating in the UK. It will represent around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation brings together most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association.