Men who conned victims out of more than £40,000 by pretending to be police officers are jailed

Men involved in phone scams in Essex have been jailed. Clockwise from top left: Mohammed Ahmed, Deda

Men involved in phone scams in Essex have been jailed. Clockwise from top left: Mohammed Ahmed, Dedar Ali, Mohammed Miah, Motahir Rahman, Mohamed Hussain - Credit: Archant

Five fraudsters who tricked people out of thousands of pounds by posing as police officers and bank officials have been jailed today.

More than £40,000 was stolen by, Mohammed Miah, Muhammad Ahmed, Motahir Rahman, Dedar Ali and Mohammed Hussain from 11 people after convincing them to hand over bank cars and pin numbers.

The gang carried out their deception across East Anglia and in several other counties.

In Essex a total of £7,000 was stolen from three members of the same family in Steeple Bumpstead on March 30 and £5,000 in Dedham on March 24.

There was also an attempted fraud in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

Mohammed Miah, 21, of Coopers Lane, Kings Cross, Muhammad Ahmed, 22, of Hemingway Close, Gospel Oak, Motahir Rahman 23 of Kiln Place, Kentish Town, Dedar Ali, 20, of Cressfield Close and NW5, Mohammed Hussain 23, Malden Crescent, NW1 all admitted conspiracy to defraud between March and July 2014.

Miah who had supplied the hired cars used by the gang, was jailed for three years and seven months.

Ahmed, who had impersonated police officers down the phone, was jailed for three years and seven months.

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Rahman, who was found with cards when he was arrested, was jailed for three years and four months.

Hussain, who had collected cards from people, was jailed for three years and nine months and Ali, who had got involved in the conspiracy to pay off £700 debt was jailed for three years and four months.

The five men were arrested by the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) which in March set up a special task force to investigate the rapidly-spreading frauds.

They were all sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on today after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

The judge, Stephen Warner, told the five that the public had to have confidence that offences of credit card fraud would be properly investigated by the police and what they had done by impersonating the police and bank officials had “undermined that confidence.”

He felt that it was warranted to make a departure from the sentencing guidelines to ensure the sentences reflected the seriousness of the offences. He told the five: “These were mean and cynical offences deliberately planned to take advantage of the vulnerable and done to obtain financial gain. Those who commit these offences can expect substantial terms of imprisonment.”

Detective Inspector Danny Lawrence, who leads the ERSOU Cyber Crime Unit, said: “These men preyed on the elderly and vulnerable and took advantage of people’s trusting nature. They left the victims and their families in a great deal of distress by committing these frauds and this has been reflected in today’s sentencing.

“I hope this sends out a clear message to anyone thinking about becoming involved in organised crime and, particularly in this case, phone scams. We will identify you and we will bring you to court.

“These arrests were made following effective partnership and collaboration through ERSOU where a number of police forces are working together. This should reinforce the message that the eastern region is a hostile place for organised crime and we will continue to identify, disrupt and dismantle any organised crime groups.”

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