Men sentenced after stealing from tourists and posing as police officers

Two men have been sent to prison for six years after they stole from tourists while posing as police officers.

Florin Ionita, 31, and Laurentiu Ionita, 47, both pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to ten offences of conspiracy to steal.

Each was sentenced to three years.

The incidents took place between August and October 2016. They were caught when Westminster Crime Squad intervened as the two men produced a fake warrant card in front of some Chinese tourists and accused them of drug dealing.

Detective Sergeant Vince Abrahart from Westminster Crime Squad said: “I am pleased that following an intelligence led operation these men have been handed down custodial sentences. They deliberately preyed on innocent tourists unfamiliar with police procedures in the UK, turning what should have been an enjoyable visit for them into a nightmare.

“While Westminster Crime Squad will continue to target such offences in Westminster and beyond – we urge all members of the public to check the ID of all persons purporting to be in authority, be this police or people from utility companies. If you are concerned that they are not genuine then phone police immediately.”

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