After the case of the Romanians blocked for several days on the airport of Cancun, being banned from entering Mexico, the Mexican media also reported about the incident. The local journalists did not manage to obtain a clear reason from the Mexican authorities on their denial to accept the Romanians to Mexico, however, they reported about the criminal groups led by Romanians who have been operating in Mexico for the past years.
Less than two years ago, the Mexican Police found out, after it had got numerous alerts from the U.S., that all ATMs in the Cancun area, popular among tourists from all over the world, were controlled by a Romania-based criminal group that made huge profits from skimming money from the tourists’ bank accounts.
According to El Universal, in a letter sent on February 10, 2020, FBI asked FIU, the Mexican Financial Intelligence Unit, to cooperate with them in order to monitor the properties and the transactions made by Florian Tudor, the alleged leader of the gang, and by his partners, Adrian Constantin Tiugan and Adrian Ninel Enachescu.
FIU has found out so far that the members of the criminal group had transferred huge amounts of money to the bank accounts of their relatives, friends and of some companies, with the money also being used to purchase houses in Mexico and in other countries. FIU argued that this was the mechanism of laundering the money skimmed from the ATMs.
FBI has ended up monitoring Florian Tudor after several American citizens had reclaimed that their money had vanished from the accounts when they had spent their vacations in Mexico.
The Romanian organized crime group made transactions with at least eight companies headquartered in Mexico and Romania being involved. One of these companies was founded in 2013 by Adrian Constantin Tiugan who had APBs issued for his arrest for skimming ATMs in Italy and Vatican.
As the Mexican media reported, quoting a witness who was a former member of the group, the gang would have ended up in controlling 100 ATMs with special devices that used to copy the data of 1,000 cards every month. “We withdrew USD 200 from each card. USD 20 million withdrawn every month”, the witness recounted.
The organized crime group had branches on 3 continents and would have stolen tens of millions of USD dollars during 2014-2019. The gang was operating not only in Cancun, but also in Indonesia, India, Barbados, Paraguay, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.