Four men were sentenced on 20th October at Newcastle Crown Court for their part in offences investigated as part of Operation Gunnel.
Officers from the North East Regional Fraud Team were tasked in 2015 with disrupting a spike of offences during which members of the public were duped over the phone into believing that their bank accounts had been compromised. Victims were directed by fraudsters pretending to be bank staff to transfer large amounts of money into supposedly safe ‘security accounts’. In reality these bank accounts were controlled by the Fraudsters.
Mohamed Juber ALI, Alfas MIAH, Ravideep SINGH and Asif AMIN were living in the South Shields area when they allowed bank accounts they controlled to be used by the Fraudsters to encash the proceeds of their crimes or to bounce stolen money through other accounts in attempts to disguise the end recipients of the scammed funds.
ALI received 18 months imprisonment; MIAH was locked up for 13 months and Ravideep SINGH received a term of 8 months. Asif AMIN received 5 months imprisonment suspended for a year but was ordered to observe a night time curfew for the next 9 months.
The case highlights the dangers of allowing others to use your bank accounts. It’s easy enough to open a bank account in one’s own name, so any approach by a third party asking to use the account of another should start alarm bells ringing.