Wembley couple sentenced for placing skimming devices in cash machines at Stansted Airport

Grigor Pop is jailed and his girlfriend Crina Andor receives a suspended sentence

A Wembley couple have been sentenced in court for carrying out a scam in which they placed ‘skimming’ devices in cash machines at Stansted Airport.

Grigor Pop, 32, of Mostyn Avenue, Wembley, has been jailed for 21 months and his girlfriend Crina Andor, 32, of the same address was given a nine month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the pair were involved in a ‘sophisticated’ operation but two attempts by them were foiled before information was skimmed from cards put into the machines.

John Caudle, prosecuting, said the offences took place on December 9, last year and June 19, this year.

Pop, was involved in the first matter, and both were involved in the second offence which was caught on CCTV.

On December 9, a female who used the Santander cash machine noticed a plastic covering which was later discovered to be a skimming device and was found to have been ‘in action’ for 11 hours and 21 seconds, containing card details for 47 people.

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In the second incident, a skimming device was discovered on another cash machine after ‘two males’ had been acting suspiciously and CCTV showed the pair had been ‘in the vicinity’ of a number of cash machines on ‘reconnaissance’.

Both were arrested when they returned to the airport on July 29.

Pop claimed he had gone to an area to obtain labouring work and was approached to fix the skimming devices for �250 each. However, he said that he did not receive any money as both attempts were foiled.

Pop’s counsel told the court: “He did what he did out of financial need.

“He was approached by a man telling him he would give him �250 if he would fit the device and he accepts he did it on two occasions but it was not successful and he didn’t get the money.”

Passing sentence Judge Christopher Ball QC told the pair: “These offences represent a sophisticated technical fraud designed to cheat dozens and dozens and dozens of people to give significant sums of money for yourself and accomplices. It was a skilful and well-planned operation.”

He added to Pop: “And you sucked your girlfriend into it.”

In addition to the suspended sentence the judge also ordered Andor to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.