Cumbria Crack
Headlines

Phone scam gang jailed for more than 21 years

Eight men were sentenced yesterday (Monday, 11 February) to more than 21 years for their roles in a nationwide telephone and courier fraud scam.

This follows seven men pleading guilty at for their roles in this fraud and a further man being found guilty by a jury for his role, following a 12 day trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The fraud offences took place between April and June 2016 across Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Cumbria, West Midlands, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Thames Valley, when 50 victims, ranging from 49 to 96 years old, were called on their landline telephone numbers and asked to hand over money.

It was a persuasive scam that saw offenders purporting to be police officers investigating a fraud at a local banking branch.

Of the 50 victims targeted, 15 were persuaded to hand over money, with a total of over £200,000 being stolen.

Two couriers were arrested in Ludlow on the 1 June 2016 after police were led to believe offences were occurring in the town that day. Following the arrest of the two couriers, a complex investigation began, which led to the subsequent arrests.

The eight offenders were sentenced as follows:

  • Mohammed Hadi, 34, of Uamvar Street, London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
  • Rejwanul Islam, 26, of Wroxhall Road, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
  • Mohammed Abdul Kashem, 28, of Guilfoot, Camden, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
  • Mohammed Nawaz Miah, 22, of Parkers Circus, Chipping Norton, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, possession of a false identity document and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
  • Mohammed Nazeem Miah, 20, of Parkers Circus, Chipping Norton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
  • Idris Ali, 24, of Belmont Street, Oldham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 16 months in prison, with his sentence suspended for 2 years. He must also complete 300 hours of unpaid work.
  • Yarsir Afzal, 22, of Abingdon Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, with his sentence suspended for 2 years. He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
  • Mohammed Nasir Miah, 24, of Parkers Circus, Chipping Norton, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with his sentence suspended for 2 years. He must also complete 20 days of rehabilitative activity and will be subject to a home detention curfew for 6 months.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright from the Economic Crime Unit at West Mercia Police said: “This investigation was incredibly complex and involved an organised crime group from London, Manchester, Oxfordshire and Cardiff. The investigation involved working with a number of other forces, in particular, Cumbria police, who were dealing with a linked series of offences. Yesterday’s sentences are testament to the hard work and diligent investigation by a small team of officers and staff.

“These offences fall under the West Mercia Police initiative Project Prospero, aimed at tackling telephone and courier fraud. All of the victims involved were called by people pretending to be officials such as the police, and were persuaded into handing over (or transferring) large sums of money.

“This type of telephone fraud is an ongoing challenge for West Mercia Police; we are working hard to tackle serious and organised crime like this and protect the public, particularly the most vulnerable, who often fall victim to this criminality. These defendants targeted people who were elderly or vulnerable; they were persistent and ruthless, sometimes keeping the victims on the phone for hours or subjecting them to many calls.

“Hundreds of calls were made, with only a handful of people needing to be convinced for the criminals to profit. We urge people to be on their guard against this fraud – never hand over bank cards, cash or transfer money, following an unsolicited phone call purporting to be the police or your bank.”

Detective Constable, Scott Livett from Cumbria Police said: “I welcome yesterday’s sentencing. This successful prosecution was brought about by the hard work of West Mercia Police and Cumbria Police, supported by London, Manchester, Oxfordshire and Cardiff Police. We work closely with other forces on a number of cross county operations to keep the public safe, and this operation was supported by all involved.

“The actions of this organised crime gang were abhorrent and they have rightly been held to account. They targeted some of the most vulnerable people in our community for monetary gain.

“The long lasting effects that their actions will have on many of their victims will be deeper routed than financial and I would like to thank the victims for their bravery and support.”

Related posts

Appeal on 10th anniversary of Jordan Ratcliffe disappearance

Cumbria Crack

New Lakes exhibition dips into artist’s past

Cumbria Crack

Lakes Free Range Egg Co praised for McDonald’s contribution

Cumbria Crack

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More