Two Brent gang members sentenced for £1.1m fraud involvement

Brent gang members Samillah Safi and Zain Ali

Brent gang members Samillah Safi and Zain Ali - Credit: UK Finance

Two Brent gang members of an organised crime group have been sentenced after involvement in a £1.1million fraud.

Samillah Safi, 20, of Wrentham Avenue,  Kensal Rise, was jailed for nine months for conspiracy to defraud, in addition to a total of 45 months imprisonment for various drugs and driving offences.

Kensal Rise gang member Samillah Safi

Kensal Rise gang member Samillah Safi - Credit: UK Finance

Zain Ali, 24, of Sandringham Road, Dollis Hill, received a sentence of two years imprisonment suspended for two years and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Gang member Zain Ali from Dollis Hill

Gang member Zain Ali from Dollis Hill - Credit: UK Finance

The pair appeared at Southwark Crown Court on May 12 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.

Det Con Matt Cornell, who investigated the case for the DCPCU, said: “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 duo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud after the DCPCU’s investigation found that Safi and Ali had recruited people to act as money mules by accepting illegally obtained money into their bank accounts, UK Finance said.

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Victims of the scam received fraudulent text messages sent by other members of the gang 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 Safi and 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.  

Det Con Cornell added: "The DCPCU will continue to work closely with the banking industry to clamp down on organised crime groups involved in fraud.”