No bail recommended for 3 Romanians in ATM skimming case in Cebu City

CEBU CITY-- The Cebu City Prosecutor's Office on Thursday recommended no bail to three Romanian nationals arrested and charged for allegedly skimming millions of cash from depositors of government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.

Cebu City Chief Prosecutor Liceria LoFranco-Rabillas said Romanian nationals Ionut Alessandrou Mitrache, Razvan Aurelian Stancu and Costel Ion have been indicted for five counts of theft in relation to Cybercrime Act of 2012 and Republic Act 8484 or the Access Devices Regulations Act of 1998.

The three were arrested by agents of the Natoonal Bureau of Investigation - Region 7 (NBI-7) for the unauthorized use of access devices.

They allegedly installed a skimming device in the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of Landbank, copied the personal identification numbers of the depositors and withdrew money from their accounts.

LoFranco-Rabillas said she recommended no bail for the three Romanians because the penalty is reclusion perpetua, a capital penalty which is no longer bailable.

Landbank officials earlier sought the help of NBI-7 after several government employees, including a retired judge, complained of unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts.

Landbank officials said they have started refunding depositors who lost money through ATMs.

Among the first to be refunded was retired Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Meinrado Paredes who lost PHP100,000 in unauthorized withdrawals from his ATM account.

A total of 41 other depositors were also refunded of their deposits that were lost to ATM skimmers.

Source: Philippines News Agency