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In total they stole almost £300,000
Men from London who acted as fake police officers in order their elderly victims in Gloucestershire out of hundreds of thousands of pounds will find out their sentences today.
Gloucestershire Constabulary launched Operation Amigo to catch the scammers who posed as police, as part of an organised crime group, between January and April 2021. The fraudsters had several 'offices' in London where they ran the con.
In total, at least 68 victims have been identified across the UK. Some of them were repeatedly targeted, police said.
READ NEXT – The story so far – fraudsters who posed as police plead guilty
The group stole almost £300,000 from their victims overall. Police say they will release video of their operation to bring them to justice when they are sentenced.
The men involved were Mohammed Maarjan, 23, of James Morgan Mews, Islington; Mohammed Hussain, 25, of Collier Street, Islington; Shoriful Islam, 25, of Highbury New Park, Islington and Muhammed Rahman, 28, of Leirum Street Islington.
Kawser Ahmed pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. The five men have previously been warned by a judge they face lengthy prison sentences.
Another courier involved, Mohammed Ahmed, is expected to be sentenced later this month.
The sentencing is due to take place at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (June 10). More to follow.
Scroll down for updates in the blog below.
Four members of a gang who preyed on dozens of elderly victims, conning them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds, have been jailed for a total of 20 years and eight months today (Friday, June 10).
Mohammed Rahman, Muhammed Maarjan, Muhammed Hussain and Shoriful Islam were handed the sentences when they appeared at Bristol Crown Court today. The four had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiring to commit fraud by false representation. Rahman, Maarjan and Islam had also admitted possessing criminal property.
Before their arrest in April last year, the gang had contacted hundreds of potential victims across the country by telephone, targeting a region for a number of days before moving on to the next. Once they had found a victim, the offenders, pretending to be police officers, patiently relayed a convincingly disturbing tale of a fraud investigation that had identified counterfeit currency being transferred into their bank accounts.
Read the full story here.
The judge said: "Each of you were fully aware of the scale of the operation and knew what you had signed up to.
"You exploited the elderly. They rightfully trusted the banks and the police – that trust was earned.
"You told them that if they didn't comply, they would lose their savings. The eldest victim was 99 and most were in their late 80s and physically frail.
"7643 calls were made to intended victims – nearly 60 were identified. About half of them have been told that they won't be reimbursed by their bank because of the lies they told – but those were your lies, not theirs. Every person you contacted were victims.
"The victims were often intelligent retired professionals who would wish to assist the police. They were embarrassed with some saying 'I am stupid' – they weren't, they were conned. They can ill-afford to lose their savings. Many were vulnerable people who were recently widowed and some were targeted repeatedly.
"Many people will ask: 'How could you do this?'
"I expect that the only real remorse that you have is the effect on your families following your exposure. The period of the offences took place during the most severe parts of the Covid pandemic – this is when victims would be isolating from families. You knew this, yet you chose to carry out your actions.
"The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison I class the culpability as A – the highest category because most of the high culpability factors were present in this case. You had sophisticated planning over a sustained period of time, there were a large number of victims and proposed victims and you deliberately targeted vulnerable victims."
All defendants have been issued with a Serious Crime Prevention Order which will last for five years upon release.
Kawsar Ahmed and Mohammed Ahmad to be sentenced on June 28th.
For previous defendents early guilty pleas meant sentences were reduced by a third.
Muhammad Hussain has been sentenced to five years four months for conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.
Muhammed Maarjan will also spend four years eight months in jail for conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation. Like Rahman and Islam, he was also handed a two-year sentence for possession of criminal property, which will run concurrently.
Shoriful Islam has been sentenced to four years eight months for conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.
He was also handed a two-year sentence for possession of criminal property, which will run concurrently.
Mohammed Rahman has been sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.
He was also handed a two-year sentence for possession of criminal property, which will run concurrently.
DS New also had advice for future victims of the same types of crime.
He said:
I would say to start the conversations now and make sure you are talking to your elderly relatives about this sort of thing. We are all targeted by getting text messages saying 'click here because you're going to get a rebate' so we all know this is going on. My message would be to speak to those members of your family who you think might be more vulnerable to this type of offence and talk to them about the things that are happening out there at the moment and create that relationship so they are comfortable going to you and ask you what you think about this phone call, or this text message or this email.
It's about education and saying to people that everyone gets tricked, even police officers sometimes, so if you do feel you've been a victim of this sort of crime, you should come forward either to your family or to the police through 101 your local police station and let us know what has been happening, It's only by collating all of this information that we can do a collective investigation and defeat what is going on.
We have an economic crime team who now have ownership of courier fraud within our county and part of their prevention strategy will be feeding information into the communities to ensure they are fully aware of the current status of the crimes that people are trying to commit. Is it text messages, the DVLA, phone calls etc? During our investigation, we looked at reaching out to that section of the community by taking leaflets to the Covid vaccine centres.
When you are targeting any section of society, you are going to look at their vulnerabilities and how they might respond. There are lots of different syndicates committing these crimes – they all talk to each other by saying 'this worked this time, that didn't work' and share information because they want to stay ahead of the game. In their mind it was a good tactic to pose as police officers because it was about authority and they had a story which was about money being in the account that was caught up in fraud and they needed to get it out.
DS New said catching the criminals had real benefits in Gloucestershire and beyond.
He told our reporter:
Within Gloucestershire afterwards, we reduced courier fraud to the bare minimum – maybe a couple of reports over four months which was absolutely exceptional. I would also like to say that, because the City of London collated all of the information, they were able to report there was no courier fraud for at least a month nationally. And when they talk to the other police forces about how as a nation we can prevent this crime, they talk about the Amigo protocol, which is how a small police force was able to tackle a national problem and collate all of the information and bring down a syndicate that was operating in London. They talk about how we conducted the investigation, the tactics we used and say 'if you want to try this, this has been a success'. I'm really proud of that because to be spoken about in a national way is an achievement.
DS New said the offenders treated their victims terribly.
Taxi journeys were sometimes booked by the offenders so they could go to the bank. Sometimes, the offenders were very forceful with them if they said they weren't very convinced, even when they were taking the cash. It was absolutely disgusting behaviour and I am so pleased we caught them, and not just the call centre but the couriers as well.
DS New explained the context of Covid-19 actually helped the police.
He said:
In some ways, the fact it happened during the pandemic helped because it made our view more clearer when looking at the evidence like the pattern of movement. It became easier to identify the offenders.
However, it also made it difficult for victims. As DS New explained:
We weren't physically able to go to the victims during this time so had to call them – therefore they were getting another call from someone saying they were a policeman. We then had to go through the process of trying to talk them down and convince them that they are now speaking to the real police. Because the offenders followed all of the prevention advice and patterns of what the police would do if they were in that situation, it made it even harder to convince them.
DS New added:
It's been quite a long process in terms of getting to the point of sentencing. All of the offenders have pleaded guilty so we were able to get all of the evidence to show not only the court of what had been happening but to the point where these people thought there was no other option but to plead guilty early.
It was a completely joint effort. When we looked at the telecoms to look who had been targeted by these criminals, we found there were a huge amount of people living from all across the country so we engaged in each of the police forces such as the Met, Essex Police, Hampshire Police, Kent Police, Surrey Police and the Home Counties – we spoke to colleagues within these investigation departments and built up the partnerships so they could feed their information into our investigation knowing we were able to show the breadth of the offending.
It's really pleasing that we were able to show that the offending went back as far as 2019 until 2021 so that we can show the court and they can sentence at the correct level. It was not only the cost of the money that was taken, it was the emotional cost as well. There were occasions when we were speaking to people, who we knew full well had been targeted, but wouldn't admit it. They were either caught up in the lie or they didn't want to admit it because they didn't want to say to the police that they were taken in by this. Some victims didn't want us to know because they didn't want their families to know.
We did a really good job in engaging with the victims which our partners carried on for us. If you were a victim and you lived in Hampshire, Hampshire would continue that contact with you. It's really important to keep people updated with the significant events.
Gloucestershire Live reporter Paul Rogers interviewed DS Daniel New yesterday (June 9) ahead of the sentencing.
DS New said:
It started out as a report of potential fraud at Barclays Bank in Cirencester in 2021.
From that we started to do some investigations involving telecommunications where we were looking at telephone numbers to identify who had called the victim, which on this occasion was reported to be the police trying to get them to take money out of their bank.
From that, we were able to identify suspects who we could see were operating from London. We liaised with the City of London Police Force, who are the lead force for courier fraud. They were able to help us with information in relation to people who they suspected to be involved in courier fraud in the area we were looking at which was in Camden and Islington.
We were able to use surveillance officers to go down to London and, after a few days, were able to use CCTV as well to identify the offenders. We conducted surveillance to the point where we intervened and executed a search warrant to find four offenders at an address in Thedderton Street which is just off the Angel Islington area. They were arrested and we found they were the leaders and we got some amazing evidence back from the address they were using.
From that, we were able to identify the couriers who were travelling all around the country to meet elderly victims who were being targeted to collect the money. They were living in London as well and were able to bring all the evidence we needed to arrest them, search their houses, charge and remand them so they were incapable of committing any more crimes.

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