Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jailed Romanian fraudster had been deported TWICE

A Romanian thief who photographed his baby rolling in cash plundered from British bank accounts had already been kicked out of the country twice, it emerged yesterday.

Each time, Adu Bunu sneaked back in to resume his crime spree.

Yesterday, after he was jailed for his part in a hole-in-the-wall scam estimated to have netted more than £1million, Romanian authorities claimed they were powerless to stop him and a flood of other criminals targeting the UK.
Police in Bunu's home town of Bacau branded him a one-man crime wave and told how he began breaking into neighbours' homes at the age of ten.

Despite his life of crime, Britain was never alerted to the long list of Bunu's convictions in Romania.

The brazen fraudster mocked the law by taking pictures of his nine-month-old son Eduard in a sea of banknotes to show Romanian friends how easy it is in England to be literally rolling in cash.

A source at the Romanian Interior Ministry said: 'Bunu was deported home from England twice.

'The first was in 2002 or 2003 and the second in 2004 for stealing. He was banned from going back but it was easy to go back.'

Bunu is believed to have smuggled himself aboard a lorry going through the Channel Tunnel.

Since January 1, 2007, he has been able to stay because the Government threw open its borders to Romanians when their country joined the EU.

Last Monday, Bunu, 34, was sentenced to five years at Hull Crown Court for cloning more than 2,000 cashpoint cards and milking his victims' accounts.

He and accomplices used pin-hole cameras to record people typing their PINs at cash machines.

n court it could be proved only that £43,000 was stolen, but the jury was told the fraud could have netted up to £1.1million.

Yesterday Mirica Ionel, Deputy Commissioner of Bacau police, said: 'Bunu has been well known to us since he was a child.'

A detective added: 'Bunu was constantly carrying out burglaries and thefts, from homes, from cars.
'He was convicted many times and was in prison for at least three years.
'Then he flew to England and we never heard from him again, but I'm not surprised he has done this.
'He would have done it here if he could, but there isn't enough money here.'
Bunu grew up in Bacau, an industrial town 200 miles north of the capital Bucharest, and left school with few qualifications.
He abandoned the Communist-era town, where horses and carts are still the favoured mode of transport, in 1996, entering the UK illegally.
His father Spirache, who is separated from his mother Maricica, insisted: 'He moved to England for a better job, for better money. He is a good boy.
'I think the British police have framed him.'
Mr Bunu said he visited his son in Britain a year ago for the christening of baby Eduard at a Romanian church in Central London.
He said: 'My son was very happy in England.'
Mr Bunu said he believed they baby and his mother, Romanian Aida Cristea, were still in Britain, adding: 'The boy gets money from the Government there.'
Marcel Gormeaja, chief of the National Romanian Police department for criminals offending abroad, said: 'Since 2007 there is no visa required to go to the UK so there is no control.'
Last night a Home Office source said there was no record of Bunu being deported under his real name.
The fraudster is known by at least two different names in Romania.

Victims of the 'drip, drip' scam

A throwaway remark led Christine and Phil Mills to realise they were victims of card cloners.

Mother-of-two Mrs Mills said: 'I'll never forget the Saturday morning when I discovered how we had been robbed over and over again.
'Phil and I were standing in the kitchen of our home arguing about money.
'He thought I had turned into a selfish spendthrift and I thought he was squirrelling money away to squander on golf weekends.'
As Mr Mills walked out of the kitchen of their Brighton home, he said: 'If I didn't know better, I would say we were being robbed.'
That turned out to be utterly true.
The couple studied their bank statements and compared them with their diaries and work schedules, and worked out they could not possibly have made the withdrawals.
Mrs Mills said: 'As I stared at the dates, withdrawals and cashpoint locations, I could see a pattern emerging.
'The thief had not ripped us off in one fell swoop and in one big hit, buying, say, a £2,000 watch in Paris.
'It was a steady drip, drip drain of our account, £20 here, £50 there, and at cashpoints we might use ourselves so we would not see anything unusual.
'Some withdrawals at Brighton machines were on days and at times I was working in my office. Some were made at 3am when we were asleep.'
Detectives are now planning to interview Bunu in connection with further crimes including the case of Mr and Mrs Mills.


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