Police in Moldova, the poorest country in eastern Europe, are chasing a bank robber with an unusual style of robbery. The man, who has been identified as Vladimir Kozak, puts the bank staff into a hypnotic state and convinces them to give him cash.

Vladimir, 49, is believed to have stolen tens of thousands of dollars from banks. Police say bank employees are unable to resist being hypnotized and then hand over cash to Vladimir while under his power.

Vladimir is said to hypnotize the bank tellers by using a technique involving eye contact. Vladimir's biggest haul was last week when he convinced a bank employee to give him $12,000. Police say the total figure stolen may be more than $40,000.