Con artist used sleight of hand to trick Post Office and bank staff out of hundreds of pounds

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A man has been jailed for four fraud offences after deceiving post office and bank staff with sleight of hand techniques.

Costel Ventel visited four Post Offices and a bank in Pembrokeshire in one day, tricking staff into handing over a total of £930.

Just hours later the 20-year-old from Birmingham was reported to Dyfed-Powys Police for trying to use the same technique in Llanelli.

PC Olivia Jones said: “We were called to post offices in Tenby, Saundersfoot and Kilgetty, as well as HSBC in Tenby, on May 17, 2019, where Ventel had committed or attempted to commit fraud.

“He’d asked staff to exchange bank notes then purposely confused them by using sleight of hand techniques. Ventel passed notes back and fore, managing to pocket £450 from one and £480 from another without the member of staff noticing.

“We believed he had travelled from Birmingham for the purpose of carrying out these acts of fraud and inquiries immediately started to locate him.”

Later that day Ventel travelled to Llanelli where he tried to commit further offences at HSBC.

PC Jones said: “Thankfully staff at the bank were alerted to their unusual behaviour and recognised them from descriptions circulated following the incident at the Tenby branch and called police. Both men were arrested on suspicion of fraud offences.”

Initially Ventel was released under investigation but following extensive inquiries over a number of months four charges of fraud by false representations were secured against him.

He was summonsed to appear at court June 30 where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.



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