Updated: Mar 16, 2022
A Belfast cabbie has been sentenced to seven months in prison for stealing bank cards from drunk passengers and then withdrawing money from their accounts.
The North Belfast taxi driver scammed over 50 passengers of funds totalling over £26,000, according to a report in the Irish News.
For over a year and a half, from February 2018, it's believed that the licensed driver targeted intoxicated passengers by watching what PIN number they used to pay for the journey. He would then keep some of the passengers' cards and use the pin to withdraw money from cash points.
He was eventually arrested in July 2019, which is when he blamed the pressure put on him by loan sharks for his reasoning behind him acting in such a way.
An investigation was launched and police recognised a pattern in all the victims - where they were all out drinking in Belfast on the night their cards went missing and money stolen.
Police suspected that the offender could well be a taxi driver, and they eventually set their targets on one driver in particular.
He was eventually arrested at one of the ATMs used in the fraud, and when apprehended he was in possession of four bank cards and £1,000 in cash.