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In the modern world with increased communication and travel opportunities crime is increasingly an international issue. International crime includes: technology crime (such as money laundering, fraud, confidence tricksters or other internet scams), immigration offences, extradition (either into or out of this country). The Crown Prosecution Service cooperates with international agencies in order to effectively prosecute international crimes.

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Gang convicted for audacious attempted bank theft

04/03/2009

Hugh Rodley and David Nash were today convicted at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court for their part in a European plot to steal £229 million. They join three others who have already pleaded guilty. Inger Britt Marie Malmros, who was extradited to stand trial, was found not guilty.

To unite this group of European fraudsters in the dock, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers worked with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and other jurisdictions to arrange extraditions from Belgium and Spain.

Jan Van Osselaer and Gilles Poelvoorde were extradited making a total of five defendants who were party to an audacious and sophisticated plot to steal £229 million from the Sumitomo Matsui Banking Corporation in the City of London. Through an insider, members of the gang gained access to the bank's computer network on separate occasions in September and October 2004 to prepare for and then complete 21 electronic 'SWIFT' money transfer applications. They sought to move £229 million to a number of recipient accounts based in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Hong Kong and Singapore. However due to errors made in the messages and the bank's security, the transfer of the money did not succeed and the bank suffered no loss.

Moira MacDaid, Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS Organised Crime Division said: "The case involved collaboration with a number of other jurisdictions and in particular with the Belgian and Spanish authorities in order to extradite three of the defendants to the UK and to build the case.

"This was a daring and sophisticated attempt to pull off what would have been a huge fraud. Each defendant had their own dishonest role. Kevin O'Donoghue was the Head of Physical Security at the bank. He granted access to Jan Van Osselaer and Gilles Poelvoorde who corrupted the computer system and attempted electronically to transfer the money. Hugh Rodley, and David Nash were connected to the overseas accounts which were set up deliberately as part of the money laundering activity required by the criminal organisation for such a large sum of money."

All the defendants who stood trial were charged with conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to transfer criminal property and conspiracy to transfer criminal property.

O'Donoghue entered a guilty plea in December 2008 to conspiracy to steal, Jan Van Osselaer and Gilles Poelvoorde also entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to steal just before the start of the trial in January 2009. Another defendant, Bernard Davies, committed suicide the weekend before the trial was due to start.

The trial proceeded against Rodley, Nash and Malmros on two offences, one of conspiracy to defraud and a second charge of conspiracy to transfer criminal property. Rodley was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to transfer criminal property, Nash was convicted of conspiracy to transfer criminal property and Malmros was acquitted on both counts.

Ends

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