A courier fraud gang who stole more than £215,000 from vulnerable elderly people in Rickmansworth, Watford and Hemel Hempstead have been jailed for more than 27 years.
The gang, who also targeted people in Bedfordshire and Yorkshire, persuaded their victims to hand over thousands of pounds to couriers.
Pretending to be Inspector Hart from Scotland Yard’s Fraud Squad, a bogus policeman told the victims their bank accounts had been raided by criminals.
Prosecutor Charlene Sumnall told St Albans Crown Court the losses totalled £215,641.60. Alert bank staff and members of potential victims’ families prevented a further £112,445 being taken.
Jailing nine men last month, Judge Graham Allen said: “Each victim was elderly – some were in their 80s or 90s. They are of a generation who assist police without question.
“It was a particularly mean fraud that plays on the vulnerability of the victims . It humiliates them and must cause great distress.”
An organiser and principal fraudster Sheikh Hussain, 24,of Great Russell Square, Camden was jailed and Nahid Uddin, 24, of Charlton Street, Camden were each jailed for four years after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud.
Masum Uddin, 23, of Orde Hall Street, Camden was jailed for seven years in his absence after being convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud. Mohammed Khaled ,24, of Portpool Lane, Bourne Estate, Camden was jailed for four years three months in his absence for conspiracy. Warrants have been issued for their arrest.
Mohamad Abdullahi, 22, of Cumberland Market, Camden was jailed for a total of six and a half years. He was convicted of the Hertfordshire fraud and had carried out a second courier fraud in Lincolnshire while on bail.
Mushahid Miah , 24, of Ampthill Square, Camden, who has two previous convictions for courier fraud, was jailed for two years for fraud.
Abdul Khan, 26, of Calverton Road, Luton and Dedar Ali, 24, ofCressfield Close, Camden were convicted of entering a money laundering operation. They were sentenced to six months’ jail suspended for 18 months. He must also complete 120 hours’ unpaid work and attend a 30 day offending behaviour programme.
Abdalla Abdalla, 27, of Piper Close, Islington pleaded guilty to entering a money laundering operation by allowing £9,800 proceeds of the fraud to go through his bank. He received eight months suspended for 18 months with 120 hours’ unpaid work. He must also attend a 30 day offending behaviour programme.
Detective Sergeant Jon Leak, from Operation Manhunt – a Hertfordshire team that specialises in distraction burglaries and other crimes targeting the elderly and vulnerable – said at the time of the charging: “We have done a lot of work to raise awareness of these scams but we need people to continue spreading the word to elderly friends, relatives and neighbours to help prevent more people falling victim to them.