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Guilty: Courier fraud gang who scammed north west london man, 94, out of £130k

PUBLISHED: 18:26 10 December 2015 | UPDATED: 18:46 10 December 2015

Top row (left to right): Mohammed Sharif Abokar, Achmed Abulaziz Ahmed and Anrul Islam. Middle row: Fahim Islam, Makhzumi Abukar and Mohammed Dahir.  Bottom row: Sakaria Aden, Yasser Abukar and Mohammed Youssfi.

Top row (left to right): Mohammed Sharif Abokar, Achmed Abulaziz Ahmed and Anrul Islam. Middle row: Fahim Islam, Makhzumi Abukar and Mohammed Dahir. Bottom row: Sakaria Aden, Yasser Abukar and Mohammed Youssfi.

Archant

A nine-strong gang have been convicted of their role in the country’s biggest courier fraud scams which saw a 94-year-old man from north west London lose £130,000.

Cash seized by policeCash seized by police

The scammers duped seven elderly people into handing over a total of £273,000 by tricking them into withdrawing the money and handing it over to them as part of a fake police investigation into fraudulent activities involving their bank accounts.

Detectives believe the group were involved in a larger industrial-scale’ fraud plot with around 140 victims being tricked into handing over £1million.

The 94-year-old lost his life savings with the other identified victims aged between 83 and 91 losing savings that ranged from £8,000 to £135,000.

Today, three men were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud and one was found guilty of money laundering at the Old Bailey.

A photo of cash taken from the mobile phone of Makzhumi AbukarA photo of cash taken from the mobile phone of Makzhumi Abukar

Five others had already admitted conspiracy to commit fraud or money laundering offences.

The 10-month investigation was launched after SO15 detectives carrying out a separate counter terrorism probe noticed irregular bank transfers for large sums to an individual, who was later identified as having travelled to Syria.

The called in officers from the National Terrorism Financial Investigation Unit who unravelled the gang’s activities.

They found that a total of 5,695 calls had been made to 3,774 different numbers across the UK using 16 telephone lines.

Makzhumi Abukar was identified as the mastermind along with Achmed Abdulaziz Ahmed and Sakaria Aden who were linked to the majority of the frauds identified.

The other men were linked to some, but not all of the frauds.

All were arrested between March and June last year.

Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) said: “Their despicable actions have had a terrible and devastating impact on their victims with some losing their life savings.

“The targeting of vulnerable men and women in their 80s and 90s is quite simply beyond belief.

“I urge the public to look at our crime prevention advice on this issue. Police or banks will never ask to collect your bank cards, will never ask for your PIN and will never ask for money, so if you get one of these calls, please hang up and either use another line to call and report it to police or wait at least five minutes for your line to clear before calling 999.”

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