Three Sentenced After Investigation into Organised Criminal Network
Three people face jail then deportation after an investigation by Camden Police into a organised criminal network targeting tourists.
It is after four men and one woman were originally arrested as part of a police operation targeting an organised criminal network believed to be responsible for more than 70 offences across Central London this year - 27 in Camden.
The group targeted oriental visitors at tourist attractions including the British Museum, Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street.
They conned tourists into believing that members of the group were British police who required ID, credit cards and PIN numbers.
The group would then take the cards and PIN numbers, withdraw cash and make expensive purchases.
The Japanese Embassy recieved more than 100 reports of the offence and has commended the officers involved in the investigation.
DC David Ross from Camden's Crime Squad, says getting the conviction was a team effort, "Officers from Camden police worked very hard on this case and with the Japanese Embassy to ensure a positive result.
"Since targeting this criminal network, offences of this kind have dramatically decreased in the area and I hope this will reassure tourists visiting London.
"These offences attack one of the core values held by the Metropolitan Police Service; to keep London safe for the millions of tourists coming here each year.
"Tourists must be aware that genuine police officers will always provide photographic identification when making enquiries."
27 year old Carmen Banyai was sentenced to 18 months, 31 year old Stefan Balint was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment and 23 year old Cosmin Negrea was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
All three, from Cuthberga Close in Barking, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.