A coin collector who swindled TfL after he realised Swaziland currency could be used to top up his Oyster card has been spared jail.
David Drukarz, 64, used the African Iilangeni, which are roughly the same size and weight as £1 coins but worth just over 5p.
It is believed he used the top-up trick on 54 different occasions between November 2016 and January this year.
After topping up the card he would withdraw the money from the ticket office.
David Drukarz (left and right), 64, swindled TfL after he realised Swaziland currency could be used to top up his Oyster card at ticket machines, a court heard
CCTV footage showed Drukarz at Kilburn tube station on January 16 and 17 this year slotting the coins into the machine to top up his Oyster card.
The following day, he was spotted again at Bond Street station using the same trick.
He was caught in February when a plain clothes police officer saw him at a ticket machine at Wembley Park station with two Oyster cards.
The court heard Drukarz told the officer: ‘I’m impressed, I knew they were getting close’.
Police then searched his home and discovered 508 Swaziland coins, three bags of Israeli shekels and 22 Oyster cards hidden in the inside of his oven.
They also found various other medallions and foreign currency.
He used the African Iilangeni (second from left, middle) which are roughly the same size and weight as £1 coins but worth just over 5p
Sentencing him, the judge, Mr Recorder Dafydd Enoch QC, ordered Drukarz to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work.
He said that Drukarz had a ‘fascination’ with coins and accepted he had only benefited himself through the fraud.
Drukarz, of Luton, Bedfordshire, admitted one count of fraud by false representation and one count of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property.
His previous convictions include two counts of theft in Switzerland, the most recent being in 2010, and one count of fraud in 1975.