Six men were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 15th April 2016 in relation to a country-wide fraud in which mainly elderly victims were swindled out of thousands of pounds.
The result follows joint operations by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, North East Region Special Operations Unit and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Sentenced for a total of 41 years in relation to Conspiracy to Defraud offences were Milad Ahmed (aged 22, of Poplar High St, Tower Hamlets, London), Joynal Miah (aged 29 of Eric Street, Tower Hamlets, London), Kevin Bokanga (aged 22, of Horse Leaze, Beckton, London), Juber Alom (aged 31, of Canterbury Close, Becton, London), Sabir Uddin (aged 23, of Kingswood Rd, Illford, Essex) and Mahbub Aziz (aged 21, of Walden St, Tower Hamlets, London).
Police dismantled the country-wide fraud in which mainly elderly victims were swindled out of over £200,000.
Detective Inspector Jack Walker, of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “These fraudsters preyed on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities targeting them in a sophisticated criminal network.
The victims were often isolated and frail but still targeted and if they realised it was a scam some were subject to threats and horrific verbal abuse. The offending covered almost every policing region within the country.”
Offenders cold called the victims who were often elderly and vulnerable, utilising the telephone networks. They posed as Police officers saying they were investigating suspects who had accessed the victims’ bank accounts and had withdrawn large amounts of money.
Utilising mobile phone technology, victims were then convinced their calls had been transferred to their own banks or the Police and the deception continued. Ultimately the victims were manipulated to visit their bank and withdraw significant quantities of cash which was then handed over to a courier who attended the victims home address.
Detectives managed to identify 97 victims - 33 of whom lost money.
DI Walker said “Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Organised Crime Unit, North East Region Special Operation Unit and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit identified a link between investigations being conducted in the three regions.
We identified victims from across the country and carried out collaborative investigations. We hope it demonstrates to criminals that they will find no hiding place and we will go wherever we need to, to get justice for the victims.”
DI Walker urged members of the public to be vigilant. He said: “Please remember that your bank and the police will never ask you to give your account details, PIN or security codes over the phone and the Police will NEVER ask you to hand over cash.
If you receive a call from someone asking for this information and other details such as passwords then do not give it. Please end the call immediately, wait five minutes to ensure the caller has cleared the line or use a different phone to report the matter to the police."
Read the local press Yorkshire Evening Post article here.
Further information and advice about this type of crime as well as other frauds can be found on the Action Fraud website.