Portsmouth gangster jailed over £1.6m cyber attack

Grigore Paladi
Grigore Paladi
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A MAN has been jailed for his role in launching a cyber attack that stole £1.6m from cash machines.

Grigore Paladi, 37, was sent to prison for five years at Southwark Crown Court.

Paladi, of Old Commercial Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, admitted conspiring to insert malware into the cash machines to steal the money and physically stealing £554,860 from 15 cash machines.

Detective Inspector Matt Mountford, head of the London Regional Fraud Team, said: ‘Cash machines across the UK, spanning from Brighton to Blackpool, were systematically broken into and infected with malware which enabled a criminal network to steal more than £1.6m.

‘The evidence gathered by the London Regional Fraud Team points towards those responsible being part of an eastern European crime network, which has been reinforced by the conviction and jailing of Paladi.

‘His five-year prison sentence sends out a clear message that this type of criminality will be pursued and dismantled.’

It comes after a gang with connections to eastern Europe targeted 51 cash machines over the May Bank Holiday weekend last year.

Paladi personally attacked machines in Portsmouth, Bognor Regis, Brighton, Liverpool and London.

The machines were opened physically and infected with malware before huge amounts of cash were withdrawn.

The software then deleted itself.

No customer data was compromised in the attacks.

Paladi was arrested at his home in October last year after an extensive intelligence-led investigation by the London Regional Fraud Team.

The team includes detectives from British Transport Police, City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service. The National Crime Agency’s Economic Crime Command gathered intelligence that led to his arrest.

- A 38-year-old woman from Portsmouth arrested in October on suspicion of money laundering has been released on bail until March.