St. Lucian law enforcement officials have been praised for the apprehension of a man who is described by United Kingdom (UK) authorities as an international bank card fraudster for having equipment used for stealing people’s card details from cash machines.
Jeff Emmanuel, 40, was nabbed shortly after arriving in St. Lucia from Gatwick Airport, according to a report in the Newham Recorder newspaper.
St. Lucian customs officers discovered an ATM skimmer, a device that fits over the card entry slot of a cash machine and steals customer card information, in Emmanuel’s luggage. They also found a laptop containing card skimming software.
The devices were passed on to officers in the UK who investigate such crimes. Eventually, Emmanuel was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the UK banking industry as he was about to board another flight to St Lucia from Gatwick Airport.
The Recorder reported that a search of Emmanuel’s home “revealed a package containing approximately 100 pre-pay gift cards. These cards, which have a magnetic strip on the back, are commonly used by fraudsters to create counterfeit bank cards using stolen data”.
Officers also found a piece of paper with timings and suspected PINs – thought to be the output from an ATM camera bar where skimming had taken place, according to The Recorder.
Emmanuel received a 17-month suspended sentence at the Old Bailey on September 22. He was also told to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £1,000.
DCI Perry Stokes, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, was quoted by The Recorder as saying: “This fraudster was discovered with all the equipment needed to steal card details and cash from unknown individuals. Thanks to the hard work of our officers, working alongside police in St. Lucia, we were able to prevent British bank customers from becoming fraud victims.”