Last week we congratulated DIICOT and their FBI partners on the successful arrest of 70 Romanian Internet fraudsters from three large cybercrime rings. This story continues to develop with more facts being shared as the legal proceedings move forward - but the most significant development is that one of the ring leaders is missing!
While 34 fraudsters are being held in Râmnicu Vâlcea for 29 days while the prosecution builds their cases against them, the most signficant news is one of the individuals NOT being held!
(source: Stirile Pro TV)
One of the ringleaders of the group captured last week, Nicolae Popescu, 'released himself' from custody and is now at large. Apparently when the initial arrests were made, the legal documents under which they were being held were set to expire at 1830 on the day of their arrest. The DIICOT prosecutors were working madly to make their claims to hold each of those arrested for 29 days further investigative period, as is typical in Romanian law, but when 6:30 PM came and went and no papers had been served against Nicolae, he asked to be released, and legally, there was nothing that could be done to stop him! Apparently he quietly walked out the front door without anyone notifying the DIICOT staff what was going on.
I read about this in Impact Real, but many other Romanian news sources are covering the story. No one knows where he is at this time. If you've got more info, please send it this way!
If you live in Romania, you are being asked to report any contact or sighting of Nicolae to the emergency police number. People are also being asked to look out for his vehicles. 30-year-old Nicolae is from Alexandria, Alexandria, Teleorman, Romania. He owns a white Mercedes Benz ML with the license plate "B-63-JOC" (B63"Play" in Romanian), a Black Mercedes Benz CLS 350 with the license plate "B-42-JOC", and a black Audi A6 with the license plate "B-80-BJI".
The Internet Scammers Blog has quoted Romanian Masura Media who is covering the case. Masura says that thirty-four hackers arrested in Valcea will be held for 29 days while further investigation is underway. Their names:
Florin Dan Mişcoci, Alexandru Răduţ, Marius Adrian Ologu, Marian Sorin Grigorie, Laurenţiu Dumitru Anghel, Vasile Petronel Avram, Florin Buceag, Iulian Stere, David Gabriel Cârstea, Narcis Nicolae Petrache, Sebastian Lungu, Bogdan Mehedinţu, Daniel Alexandru Ciomag, Aurel Cătălin Dincă, Gheorghe Tiberiu Budărescu, Ionuţ Sorin Dumitru, Gabriel Drăghici, Nicolae Cristian Ciucă, Nicolae Popescu, Dumitru Daniel Busogioiu, Ovidiu Vlad Cristea, Ştefan Iordachi, Florin Nicula, Nicolae Andrei Paraschiva, Cătălin Sârbu, Marian Lovită Priboi, Mihaela Florina Ungureanu, Vlad Nicolae Vrapciu, Flore Valentin Boje, Alin Constantin Cotă, Florin Dorin Răducu, Călin Cornel Fălcuşan, Alexandru Nicolăescu, Claudiu Marian Turica.
Googling almost any of those names will find many more stories in Romanian. . .
Impact Real also lists the items seized during the raids on this group:
77,350 euros, 49,000 U.S. dollars, 64,860 pounds, 60,645 lei, a luxury watch, a rifle, three pistols and 150 grams of gold. 70 laptops, 165 mobile phones, 35 desktop computers, 15 modems, new servers, 10 blank cards, 2425 SIM cards, 40 cards, 325 memory sticks , 1040 CD-DVD, 20 hard disks, 30 disks and six video cameras. As well as seven cars, worth over 300,000 euros.
Hmmm... what would bad guys be doing with 2,425 SIM cards? Very interesting!