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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gipsy pickpockets' palaces: The mansions built by Romanian family of thieves who robbed train passengers while they slept

In Britain, they claimed to be destitute, living on benefits and scrounging from tourists to whom they sold the Big Issue.
But in fact the Rostas family had five huge palaces in their Romanian homeland, financed by the proceeds of a massive pickpocketing racket here.
These are the gaudy mansions the family of Roma gipsies built after stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from commuters, snatching mobile phones and cash as they dozed on late-night trains from London to Kent.

Bad taste: The Rostas family built five gaudy mansions in their homeland financed by their racket here
Bad taste: The Rostas family built five gaudy mansions in their homeland financed by their racket here
Over two years the gang claimed at least 185 victims, though police believe that the true number is well over 500.
The stolen phones were sold in Romania to generate huge profits which the family used to build this 16-bedroom villa. A few streets away four similar blue-roofed palaces, all decorated with the Mercedes car emblem to symbolise wealth, are shared by  other members of the extended family.
All are unfinished to avoid paying Romanian property taxes.
When the Daily Mail tracked down relatives of the clan who live in the small town of Huedin in Transylvania, one was eager to boast about the family’s riches. He said: ‘Yes, we are very, very rich family. We work in England, Spain and France. We make a lot of money.’
The young gipsy proudly gestured to the five-storey house built with stolen cash, adding: ‘We have spent a fortune on this. Well over a million euros.’
Twelve months ago, the family bought another plot of land for 30,000 euros in nearby Calatele, where they are believed to have more houses. 
Lavish display: The Mercedes symbols on the roof of one of their houses in Huedin, Transylvania, symbolise wealth
Lavish display: The Mercedes symbols on the roof of one of their houses in Huedin, Transylvania, symbolise wealth
Dodgy: The family deliberately left windows unfinished on this five-storey building to avoid property taxes
Dodgy: The family deliberately left windows unfinished on this five-storey building to avoid property taxes
Ostentatious: The distinctive luxury homes built by the the family - who admit to robbing sleeping commuters - tower over the town in north-west Romania
Ostentatious: The distinctive luxury homes built by the the family - who admit to robbing sleeping commuters - tower over the town in north-west Romania
Yesterday other members of the Rostas family were swaggering around Huedin in shiny designer tracksuits and weighed down with gold watches and jewellery.
Parked outside their palaces were Mercedes, Audis and BMWs with English and Irish number plates.
Police believe the family may be part of a wider criminal network spread across Europe, operating in Britain, Ireland, Spain and France. One neighbour, Artur Potra, 42, a retired engineering technician, said: ‘They have never worked in Romania. They just steal, steal, steal. They started out trading stolen whisky and cigarettes in the 1990s before they moved into Britain.
‘They spend 11 months of the year there and then they come back here for one month and put another 10,000 euros on the house.
‘They come here to party, betting thousands at the casino and eating as much as they can, and when the money runs out they go back to steal more.
‘The mobile phones are sold on the streets and the markets and they also operate as loan sharks here, but they get no trouble because they bribe the police.’ 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106131/Pickpockets-palaces-The-Romanian-mansions-built-targeting-UK-commuters.html#ixzz1nNbfFvPK

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