Between the 2/6/2014 – 15/12/14 a series of Courier Fraud offences occurred across the UK, including the North East of England, in which 43 victims were defrauded of over £100,000.
Between the 2/6/2014 – 15/12/14 a series of Courier Fraud offences occurred across the UK, including the North East of England, in which 43 victims were defrauded of over £100,000. Elderly members of the public were contacted on their telephone by criminals purporting to be Police Officers and were persuaded to withdraw large amounts of cash from their bank. The money was then collected by a member of the OCG pretending to be a Police Courier.
Operation Howze was initiated by North East Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) which involved working closely with the South East ROCU and the following four members of the OCG were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to commit Fraud :
Juber ALOM aka Nas KHAN, Milad AHMED, Goynal aka Joynal MIAH and Sabir UDDIN.
Enquiries established links with an on-going Courier fraud investigation by Yorkshire and Humberside ROCU (YHROCU) -Operation Raptor - who had arrested Goynal MIAH and had also charged two further members of the OCG - Kevin BOKANGA and Mahbub AZIZ - involved in offences in 2015.
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) – the gang leader who admitted two charges of conspiracy to defraud and was jailed for 11 years
Joynal Miah (aged 29 of Eric Street, Tower Hamlets, London) - who was found guilty by a jury on both charges, was a driver who collected cash. He was jailed for ten and a half years
Kevin Bokanga (aged 22, of Horse Leaze, Beckton, London) - who also collected cash, was found guilty of the second conspiracy and was jailed for five years
Juber Alom (aged 31, of Canterbury Close, Becton, London) who was one of the voices on the phone, was jailed for six years and six months on one charge of conspiracy
Mahbub Aziz (aged 21, of Walden St, Tower Hamlets, London) - another "voice on the phone", was jailed for two years and six months for one conspiracy
Sabir Uddin (aged 23, of Kingswood Rd, Illford, Essex) - who admitted one charge of conspiracy and a common assault, was jailed for five years and six months.
Denise Breen-Lawton, prosecuting, said the gang "operated with a high level of sophistication" and "had little regard for the mental or physical health of their victims".
Jailing the men, judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: “These were merciless offences and on occasion gratuitously cruel. I am entirely satisfied that the lives of some if the victims have been permanent affected, in some cases severely. I have no doubt that some of these have hastened death. They are entirely motivated by greed.”
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.
Further information and advice about this type of crime as well as other frauds can be found on the Action Fraud website.