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Two Romanians arrested on Internet fraud charges

Date: February 28, 2005
Source: Detnews
By: Associated Press

TIMISOARA, Romania -- Two Romanians have been arrested on charges they were part of a crime group that defrauded dozens of people in Europe and the United States with bogus Internet sales, police said Sunday.

The two, identified by police only as 23-year-old Ionut Laurentiu and 20-year-old Viorel, were accused of defrauding customers in Europe and the United States, said Mircea Chirila, a police chief in charge of combating organized crime.

He said the ring operated by offering cars for sale on the Internet, receiving advances and shipping fees without delivering the cars.

Ionut Laurentiu, a law student, allegedly told prospective buyers that he was an Italian soccer player who was now with a British club, Chirila said.

Buyers sent money to Italy or Spain, where it was picked up by other members of the network.

The investigation continues, and police are looking for other members of the group, Chirila said. If found guilty, offenders could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Cyber crime is rampant in Romania, a country with many computer literate youths and thousands of Internet cafes, which make identifying offenders more difficult, authorities say.

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