Place 3 Romanians under watch list: NBI

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 wants the three Romanian nationals, who are facing charges in relation to ATM skimming, placed on the Bureau of Immigration's watch list.

The accused--Ion Costel, Ionut Alexandru Mistrache and Razcan Aurelian Stancu--underwent inquest proceeding before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday.

They, through their lawyer Christian Ruiz, refused to issue a counter-affidavit so the case will be brought before the Regional Trial Court and they can immediately post bail.

The NBI 7 formally filed a complaint against them for violating Republic Act 8484, or the Access Devices Regulations Act, and theft in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

During the inquest, Costel admitted that he used an alias to secure a local driver’s license.

Costel is a common friend of Mistrache and Razvan. But the two men allegedly don’t know each other.

During the proceeding, Assistant Prosecutor Maria Theresa Casiño said that a depositor of the Land Bank of the Philippines Lapu-Lapu City branch executed an affidavit regarding the alleged skimming of his ATM card, which led to unauthorized withdrawals in his bank account.

Security guards assigned in the Landbank’s Escario branch in Cebu City also executed affidavits, claiming they saw two of the suspects withdrawing cash from the bank’s ATM machine.

Florante Gaoiran, NBI 7 special investigator, said that once the case is raised before the court, they hope to secure a hold-departure order against the accused so they can’t flee the country.

But Ruiz told reporters he is not sure if his clients will stay in the Philippines once they post bail.
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