'The easyJet crime wave' : Romanian pickpocketing gangs use Oct 2, 2013 9:09:21 GMT
Post by Focus on Oct 2, 2013 9:09:21 GMT
Criminal gangs from Romania are targeting European cities by flying in on low-cost airlines to commit their crimes before returning home 'in time for tea', the director of Europol has warned.
Rob Wainwright described the gangs as 'petty criminals operating across multiple jurisdictions', adding that they are active across Europe, it was reported today.
He warned that criminals are flying in and out of a country in just one day, making it hard for local police.
Europol warned police cooperation is needed to halt the practice that was described as an 'easyJet crime wave' because budget airlines are unwittingly being used by gangs
Romanian and Bulgarian gangs are thought responsible for 90 per cent of all European card-skimming crimes
Europol said that police co-operation is vital if the so-called 'easyJet crime wave' is to be halted, a news paper reported.
The main crimes being carried out are thought to be card-skimming and pickpocketing.
Gangs from Romania and Bulgaria are thought to be responsible for 90 per cent of all card-skimming crimes in Europe, according to Europol.
Europol has identified 240 organised crime gangs from Romania, which account for 6.7 per cent of all criminal networks active in Europe, the Times reported.
Mr Wainwright told the newspaper: 'We have this travelling criminal gang phenomenon that has become much more prevalent in the last three or four years; gangs from Lithuania, gangs from Poland, gangs from Romania that are operating in 20 or more European countries.
The main crimes being carried out by the travelling gangs are thought to be
card-skimming and pickpocketing
'They fly on low-cost airlines, do a few hits in one city and get back in time for tea.
'It's very different for the local police to respond to that.'
Europol believes that the threat from Romanian gangs will not rise significantly when restrictions on the type of work Romanians and Bulgarians can do in the UK are lifted in January.
Between April and June this year, the number of people from those two nations working in the UK rose by nearly 26 per cent, with 141,000 employed in that period compared to 112,000 in the previous three months, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Sly, thieving, b..tards!! ... Ggrrrrrrr - Fx