The Metropolitan Police (Met), with assistance from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), have busted a ring of international fraudsters and money launderers.
Businesses across the North West were targeted by the fraud group, so a number of police forces worked with the Met to crack down on the operations.
Leader of the group, 25-year-old Feezan Hameed, would call people – posing as their bank’s fraud team – and convince them that their accounts were being hacked. Hameed would then instruct them to reveal their internet banking details, ultimately resulting in his group accessing their money.
The ring collected huge amounts of money from many people, including one person who lost £2 million. Some businesses found themselves close to bankruptcy as a result of the operation.
After an extensive investigation, the group have been stopped and brought to justice. On Wednesday 21 September, 9 people were jailed in connection with the fraud ring, for over 27 years. 10 others had been sentenced previously this year, for over 12 years.
Detective Phil Larratt – from GMP’s Fraud Team – has made comment on the success. “This operation shows the benefits of cross force collaboration when dealing with serious cases of fraud”.
The Met’s Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Gould has said, “Customers can protect themselves by always exercising caution when called by someone claiming to be from their bank, even if the number they are ringing from appears to be genuine”.
This is the advice offered to prevent these kinds of fraudsters from succeeding in the future.