Photographs of a 9 month baby rolling in stolen cash have helped police convict a Romanian identity theft mastermind.
Romanian immigrant and fraudster, Abu Bunu, was yesterday sentenced to a 5 year jail sentence after masterminding an identity theft campaign that saw him pocket over £43,000.
Ironically, it was photos of his 9 month old son rolling in the stolen cash that proved to be the final nail in his coffin.
Discovered during a raid on his Wakefield home, Bunu maintains the cash depicted was a gift from his son's christening. However, police found evidence that suggests the fraudster took these photos with the intention of boasting to his Romanian friends about how easy it is to make money in the UK.
Prosecutor Paul Reid told the jury: "The pictures speak for themselves. It may give you some flavour of the way Mr Bunu felt about his endeavours."
Working with on-the-run accomplice, Florin Palade, the pair are known to have stolen the identities of more than 1,000 individuals and cloned over 2,000 cards. Together they fitted false card readers and pin hole cameras to the front of unwatched supermarket cash points and used these details to withdraw over £43,000 cash.
Masking as a painter and decorator, Bunu was discovered after a lengthily surveillance operation captured his face on camera. A subsequent police raid uncovered the incriminating photos along with £4,000 in cash and evidence that thousands more had been transferred back to Romania. The pair's workshop was later discovered at Palade’s now abandoned home.
Yesterday the jury heard how Bunu targeted cash points across the East Yorkshire region, often driving up to 830 miles a day in new BMWs to withdraw £500 a time.
However, while he has now started serving his sentence this is unlikely to be his last trial as he also implicated in a number of identify theft cases on the South coast of Britain, dating back to 2005.