Seven Kings ‘highwayman’ who posed as police officer to take cash from motorway drivers jailed
PUBLISHED: 15:11 22 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:12 22 April 2013
A Seven Kings man has been jailed as part of a gang of “highwaymen” who posed as police officers on motorways to steal £25,000 from duped drivers.
Stefanita Iorga, 27, of Elgin Road, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday and was jailed for five years and four months.
Iorga worked with three other men to use police-style lights, signs and fake ID badges to stop cars on the M20 between Dover and London.
Kent Police said the group told drivers they needed to search their vehicles for drugs and check any money to see if it was counterfeit.
They would then take any cash handed over to a waiting vehicle and speed off.
On one occasion a minibus travelling towards Dover was targeted and the driver and passengers gave up £14,000.
Another driver was conned at the Maidstone service station, at junction eight, into handing over £2,000.
Between August and October last year, the gang got away with £25,000.
But police put a stop to the spree on October 31, when a suspect vehicle was spotted in Folkestone and conspirators Ninel Besleaga, 30, and Alberto Chivea, 25, both of Tottenham were arrested.
Iorga was arrested along with Constantin Tanase, 23, of no fixed abode, when number plate recognition cameras found the second car heading out of Kent on the M20.
Besleaga, Chivea and Tanase all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and were jailed for between three and a half and five years.
Det Con Robert Goodban, of Kent Police, called the scam “a modern day version of the old highwayman thefts”.
He added: “The offenders sought to prey on the vulnerabilities of foreign nationals.
“I believe the level of sentencing represents the serious nature of the offences committed in what is a rather unique case.”
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