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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 16:03 GMT
Man admits cash machine fraud
cash machine
A gang were able to empty customers' bank accounts
A man has admitted his part in a cash machine scam which netted 30,000.

Bogdan Tanasa, 29, alleged he was forced to participate by ruthless Romanian gangsters.

Tanasa had used a false passport to stay in Britain after losing his job at a textiles plant in Essex.

A court in Glasgow heard allegations that the criminals who supplied the passport used threats against his family in Romania to make him take part in the fraud.

Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that police had been on alert last Christmas following reports that cash had been mysteriously disappearing from people's accounts.

It was believed a gang had been behind a series of hi-tech frauds.

The scam, known as skimming, concerned the use of micro-scanners and cameras which could record card details as customers used an ATM.

False identity

Tanasa was arrested by police who had been watching a cash machine in Glasgow's Buchanan Street.

He later admitted setting up the scanners on city centre cash machines on at least 10 occasions during a three-week period.

He appeared on petition at Glasgow Sheriff Court under the name Giovanni Altore, his identity on the false passport.

But further investigations found that he was in fact Bogdan Tanasa from the Romanian capital Bucharest.

The court was told that Tanasa travelled to Glasgow from Essex with five other men to carry out the crimes, and was paid 10,000 in return.

He is due to reappear in court for sentencing next month.

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