Limerick city in Ireland has long had a reputation for criminality among some of its citizens, but a new case has startled even hardened Irish police.

Vitali Piscari, 33, from River Road, Rhebogue, Limerick turned the back-room of his modest four-bedroom house into a sophisticated workshop where he built false ATM bank machines for criminal gangs worldwide, an Irish court heard on Thursday.

Police raided Pascari's home in February 2011 where they were astounded to discover one of the most effective ATM-skimming scams in Europe.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, Pascari pleaded guilty this week to eight counts of theft and fraud relating to the manufacturing and distribution of the ATM skimming devices.



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The scam worked with Pascari ordering the spare parts directly from ATM companies and and then crafting his own custom-made ATM machines for his client-base.

Gardai also found $5,000 in cash at Pascari's home. At the time of his arrest Vitalii was unemployed although he had around $40,000 in his bank account.

Pascari created bogus bank cards for his clients by electronically transferring the bank details of unsuspecting members of the public who had used his machines on to the magnetic strips located at the back of gift cards.

Pascari was  finally apprehended when a box addressed to him labelled 'anti-skimming devices' was spotted at a DHL depot by Irish customs and excise officers.

Pascari, who has no previous convictions has a wife and two children aged four and five had previously found a woman's bag containing bank cards and cash and handed it into an Irish police station.

Judge Carroll Moran said he had 'never come across a case like this before' and adjourned sentencing to next week.