Police are chasing a con artist who used hypnotism to steal tens of thousands of dollars from bank tellers in Moldova – eastern Europe’s poorest country.

The suspect, identified as Vladimir Kozak, 49, is believed to have stolen more than $40,000 from bank employees unable to resist his powers, police said yesterday.

Kozak’s biggest haul took place last week, where police say he convinced a teller to give him $12,000.

His technique was to gain eye contact, put his targets in a hypnotic state and convince them to hand over cash.

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