Nine in Court Charged Over Dorset Phone Scam

Nine people appeared at Westminster Crown Court in London today charged with fraud and money-laundering offences following telephone scams in London and Dorset.

They were arrested following a joint operation in London yesterday involving Zephyr – the South West’s regional organised crime unit – and the Metropolitan Police.

The scam involves victims receiving a call from someone purporting to be from their bank, advising them of alleged fraudulent transactions on their accounts. They are then advised to phone the customer services department using telephone numbers from the rear of their cards. No account details are requested.

The victim then hangs up and calls the number as suggested and speaks to a different voice who advises them to make transfers to a newly created account and assures confirmation details will be forwarded.

It appears the initial caller may not be hanging up, keeping the phone line open and the victim then believes they have connected to a legitimate bank number after dialling out.

All nine defendants appeared in court today, Thursday 30 October 2014 for a variety of offences, some of which occurred in Dorset.

They are:

Abdirahman Achmed Hashi, aged 25, of Wiltshire Close, London SW3 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and fraud by false representation.

Khalid Benelbaida, aged 42 of Hazelmere Walk, Northolt, UB5 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Richard Rodgers, aged 29 of Dartmouth Close, London W11 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Abdul Qasim, aged 20 of Tyne Street, E1 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Ernest Kwesi Arthur, aged 21 of Sherwood Park Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Said Rage, aged 26 of Queens Road, E17 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Anil Arora, aged 54 of Lyndhurst Road, Greenford, UB6 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and employ an adult subject to control who had not been granted leave to enter/remain in the UK.

Jayeskumar Arvindbahai Patel, aged 40, of Sherrard Road, E7 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation

Georgiana Finch, aged 19 of Duddington Close, SE9 - charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and money laundering.

Additionally a 34-year-old man, who was also arrested, during the operation yesterday, has been released on police bail, pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector Andy Roberts from Bournemouth CID, said: “Offenders are trying to get the victims to withdraw cash and either courier it to an address in London using a local taxi company or transfer the cash to another bank account for "safe keeping".

“No bank or building society employee will ever ask a customer to transfer funds over the phone from one account to another.

“We’d urge people to dismiss any calls they receive like this and report them to police by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Please also pass this information on to friends and neighbours.”

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