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Camden police raid homes in search of criminal gang accused of £1m bank card scam

PUBLISHED: 16:20 05 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:52 05 July 2012

Operation Easton

Operation Easton

Archant

A series of early morning raids on an alleged criminal gang suspected of conning more than £1million from victims and banks marked the start of a police crackdown on fraud.

Dozens of officers took part in Operation Easton this morning (Thursday, July 5) as seven homes in Camden and one in south London were targeted by police.

The operation – undertaken by Camden Police - follows weeks of intense evidence gathering by officers in relation to almost 100 frauds in the borough and “possibly hundreds” across the capital.

Victims had been conned by fraudsters ringing them up and pretending to be from their bank.

After speaking on the phone for a while and getting vital details such as a pin number, a taxi was then sent to the victim’s house to pick up the bank card and deliver it to the gang. The card was then used to either get money out of the person’s account or open up a loan.

There is no suggestion the taxi drivers knew what was going on.

At one address a number of expensive watches – including a Rolex and one by Georgio Armani – were found along with gold bracelets, diamond earrings and designer clothing.

At a separate address, a BMW was taken away along with number plates found in the boot of a car and mobile phones.

Det Supt Richard Tucker, of Camden Police, said: “The raids went very well. It’s early days yet but it’s certainly confronted a level of criminality that has been occurring at quite a high level in terms of number of offences across Camden and London.

“The vast majority of victims in this are elderly.

“It is not the monetary loss - I would like to think they will get that back - but it’s the intrusion on their lives at their age. The oldest victim we had was 92 – and it has shattered their confidence.”

Six men, aged from their late teens to early 20s, were arrested.

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