Two members of an organised crime group (OCG) have been sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court for their involvement in committing £1.1 million of fraud, following a successful investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist City of London and Metropolitan police unit funded by the banking and cards industry.
Samillah Safi, 20, received nine months imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud, in addition to a total of 45 months imprisonment for various drugs and driving offences. Zain Ali, 24, received a sentence of two years imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours of unpaid work. The OCG members, both from Northwest London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud after the DCPCU’s investigation found that Mr Safi and Mr Ali had recruited people to act as money mules by accepting illegally obtained money into their bank accounts.
Victims of the scam received fraudulent text messages sent by other members of the OCG which claimed to be from their bank’s fraud department and were designed to harvest the recipient’s personal and financial details. This information was then used to commit £1.1 million of fraud, with hundreds of thousands of pounds of victims’ stolen funds laundered through the money mule accounts recruited by Mr Safi and Mr Ali.
The fraud was spotted by the victims’ bank, who referred the case to the DCPCU for investigation. All victims were fully refunded by their bank.
Detective Constable Matt Cornell, who investigated the case for the DCPCU, commented:
“These criminals mistakenly thought they could get away with exploiting other people’s bank accounts to clean dirty money which had been callously stolen from innocent victims.
“Fortunately, we were able to bring Mr Safi and Mr Ali to justice.
“The DCPCU will continue to work closely with the banking industry to clamp down on organised crime groups involved in fraud.”