Man who pretended to be a police officer to con the elderly jailed - London, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

02/08/2013

A man who masqueraded as a police officer in order to systematically con elderly people into handing over thousands of pounds in cash appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday, Thursday, 01 August 2013, and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

The long-running and complex investigation was led by Hertfordshire Constabulary's specialist investigation team, Operation Manhunt, a unit set up to investigate distraction burglary and other crimes against the elderly.

Wakas Ahmed, aged 24, of Eighth Avenue, Manor Park, London, conned his victims by telling them he was a police officer from a local police station investigating a fraud on the victim's account. He would tell them they needed to withdraw money from their account and give it to his colleague, who would be sent to their house and would keep it safe.

When the victim became suspicious he would tell them to put the phone down and dial 999 to verify his identity. Ahmed would never terminate the call, so when the victim dialled 999 they would go straight back to him.

Ahmed appeared at St Albans Crown Court on 01 July where he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, in relation to 16 offences, which were committed between August 2012 and March 2013 in London, Bedfordshire (4 offences) and Hertfordshire (11 offences across Watford).

In total, Ahmed gained £49,500 from his crimes, £28,000 of which came from one victim alone who is in her 90s and from Watford.

Ahmed was initially charged with one count of fraud by false representation. However, the Operation Manhunt team worked tirelessly with Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service to change the indictment to the more serious charge of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Proceedings to confiscate Ahmed's criminal gains have begun.