Gang sentenced for money laundering £500,000 stolen by fake police officers

15/09/2017

A gang have been sentenced to a total of 24 years imprisonment after money laundering nearly £500,000 stolen from victims tricked into transferring cash by phone calls from fake police officers.

Seven people from East London and Surrey who laundered money stolen by way of a so-called 'vishing' or 'voice phishing' fraud were sentenced today Friday (15 September) after a trial at the Central Criminal Court in July.

The latest conviction and sentences brings to 25 the total number of defendants in connected cases convicted since 2015 for either conspiring to commit fraud or for laundering the proceeds of crime.

The total amount obtained by the overall connected frauds was £1.28m and another £69,000 was only stopped from being stolen because of action taken by the family members of potential victims.

In 2014 and 2015 four victims from Blackpool, Durham, Dorset, and Fareham, were phoned and told their bank accounts had been targeted by criminals. They were encouraged as a matter of urgency to transfer money to police 'holding accounts' or in cash to 'police couriers' sent to their doorsteps.

When they called 999 to check what they had been told, the call was intercepted, and another person pretending to be a police officer backed up the story.

One person lost £288,000 - his life savings - after being called by 'DS Marshall' from Scotland Yard.

Robert Hutchinson, London CPS reviewing lawyer, said: "These individuals were part of a sophisticated network distributing and dissipating money stolen from 'vishing' victims.

"They were a trusted part of the scam and allowed large sums of money to move through their accounts to ensure that there would be profit from the fraud.

"These verdicts and early guilty pleas follow a strong case involving careful analysis of bank accounts and text messages between defendants.

"The CPS will now continue with steps to recover the criminal assets of these individuals under the Proceeds of Crime Act."

Defendants:

Found guilty

  • Neil Newbury, 60, [15/07/1957] of Debden Close Kingston. Total 6 years' imprisonment
  • Shah Hussain-Ali, 45, [30/06/1972] of St John's Place, Tower Hamlets. 4 years' imprisonment in total
  • Moinul Hossain, 41, [01/09/1975] of Nigel Road, Forest Gate, Newham. 4 years' imprisonment in total in his absence

Pleaded guilty

  • David Page, 60, [31/03/1957] of Tower Place, Warlingham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to money laundering before trial  - 7 years' imprisonment
  • Peter Kawuma, 25, [15/12/1991], of Elmley Street, Greenwich, pleaded guilty to money laundering before trial - 15 months' imprisonment
  • Swahelin Chowdhury, 39, [10/11/1977], of Howell Court, Clyne Place, pleaded guilty to money laundering before trial - 12 months' imprisonment
  • Monir Hussain, 25, [30/06/1992], of Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex, pleaded guilty to money laundering before trial and was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment at an earlier hearing