Police target Bangladeshi family behind phone fraud scam
PUBLISHED: 14:07 04 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:23 04 February 2013
Detectives are targeting a Bangladeshi family in Camden believed to be orchestrating a conspiracy to plunder cash from elderly people's bank accounts.
On Thursday (January 31) officers raided addresses on council estates in the Euston area to try and crack the ring of conmen believed to be embroiled in one of the now notorious “courier fraud” schemes which have blighted the borough.
More than 2,000 people across the capital have fallen victim to the fraud over the last 12 months, including a Hampstead actor, a Primrose Hill artist and a former MEP William Hopper, from Flask Walk in Hampstead.
One victim’s bank account was emptied of £80,000 by the conmen.
In last week’s raids, police arrested and charged a 20-year-old man with conspiracy to defraud. He has appeared before magistrates and was sent to crown court for trial in April.
Officers seized £1,000 in cash, designer clothing and a number of phones from a flat in Ampthill Square, Mornington Crescent, believed to have been bought with the ill-gotten gains.
Although raids on other homes threw up little else, police believe the gang is stashing its loot somewhere in the area and the group are alleged to have sought to buy a weapon to defend the hoard.
Det Con Paul Heselwood, of Operation Easton which is investigating the fraud, said there was “community tension” in the area concerning the family and police were working with town hall officials to review their living arrangements in council blocks.
Det Con Heselwood said: “If you take it as a whole and be totally general, if you have 2,000 victims you have millions of pounds worth of fraud and they (fraudsters) are still living in council housing and lavishing their ill-gotten gains in a kind of childish way, designer flip-flops and jeans that are more expensive than my suit.”
Last month brothers Dulu and Shilu Miah, from King’s Cross, ringleaders in a similar fraud, were jailed for a total of 10 years for emptying at least £244,000 from almost 220 people’s accounts.
Three brothers from Camden, arrested by Operation Easton, are facing trial in April for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.