A twenty three year old Asian male from South Shields has appeared in court today after being charged with money laundering offences following his arrest by Fraud Team officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit yesterday morning.
A twenty three year old Asian male from South Shields has appeared in court today after being charged with money laundering offences following his arrest by Fraud Team officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit yesterday morning. The male was also in the country illegally after his visa expired and police had been working with North East Immigration team over locating and arresting him.
This has been part of an ongoing investigation being carried out by officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) Fraud Team where suspects from the area have been involved in organised fraud targeting elderly people and defrauding them of their life’s savings.
Over the past months there have been a number of reports to police across the UK and specifically from residents of the North East where they have received calls from people claiming to be police officers or from their banks fraud department and that they have to withdraw their money or move it online in order to keep it safe. However rather than protecting their money they are transferring it straight into the fraudsters bank account. The fraudsters are trying to mask the source of the money by transferring it through several bank accounts before withdrawing it in cash. They are co-ercing local students from South Shields into giving up their bank accounts for this purpose sometimes paying them money in order to do this.
Detective Sergeant Jen Milsom from NERSOU’s fraud team, said “Todays activity is the fourth in a series of arrest and enforcement operations in the region since November last year and we will continue to work with local police and Immigration enforcement to safeguard local people.
"This is a scam which is affecting people not only locally in the North East region but on a national level and involves fraudsters intercepting phone lines, leaving the telephone line open and posing as other police forces and banking authorities.
"I would urge members of the public to be on their guard and if they do receive a suspicious call to put the phone down immediately, if you want to verify the call is genuine use another phone to call the police or your bank or visit them in person."
“I would also warn students and the public in general that if someone asks to use your bank account, particularly for a small fee then do not allow this as you will also be committing money laundering offences.”
A second male has today accepted a police caution for allowing his account to be used.