Man jailed for possessing fake ID documents - St Albans

20/02/2015

A Romanian, who was banned from driving, was caught with fake identity documents as he walked back to his car in St Albans.

Constantin Pitigoi, aged 26, had parked his black VW Golf in the Bricket Road car park to go to the Nat West bank in St Peter's Street. When he saw a police officer he walked past him in a nervous manner and at speed, St Albans Crown Court heard today, Friday, 20 February 2015.

Sally Mealing-McLeod, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he told the officer his name was Zafir Mirza and that he had come from Woodford Green to collect a PIN for his bank account. He was searched and four fake identity documents were found: a French identity card in the name of Mirza, a French identity card in the name of Treadwell, an Austrian passport in the name of Legrand and a Romanian identity document in the name of Lungi.

Officers took him to Hatfield police station where he maintained his name was Mirza, but a Live Scan fingerprint test was carried out and his true identity was discovered. He had been before North East London Magistrates' Court a month earlier on 13 October 2014, where he received an 18 month ban for drink driving.

It was discovered that he was a regular customer at the Nat West in St Albans using the fake name. He had also opened an account at Barclays in Hoddesdon and Barclays in Welwyn Garden City using fake ID. The accounts there were being used to launder money, which was deposited and withdrawn a few days later.

Pitigoi of Spring Gardens, Woodford Green, pleaded guilty to four charges of possessing false identity documents, possessing an article for use in fraud and driving while disqualified on 6 November last year.

Gabrielle Moore, defending, said Pitigoi had come to the UK legally in June last year to work as a painter and decorator. A job fell through and a Romanian acquaintance offered him the chance to make some cash. "He was a foot soldier, not the puppet master. He was foolish and he knows what he did was wrong," she said. When he has served his sentence, Ms Moore said Pitigoi wanted to return to Romania, where has a 9-month-old daughter who he has never seen. She said his father was also ill.

Recorder Philip Brook-Smith QC said it was unclear what money was being made by whom. He jailed Pitigoi for 12 months for the identity offences, with a further 8 weeks for driving while banned.

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.