Two members of an organised crime group (OCG) have been sentenced at Inner London Crown Court for their involvement in committing £112,000 of fraud, following a successful investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit sponsored by the banking and finance industry that investigates the criminals responsible for fraud.
The ringleader of the gang, Samir Aweys, also known as Zeemir Ebankz, received a total of three years and nine months imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud and being in possession of criminal property. He was also ordered to pay £500 and €500 to the bank, and received a forfeiture order where both his laptop and phone were seized by the police.
Group member Adrian Myrie, of Canning Town, pleaded guilty to the charge of facilitating the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act. On 19 March 2021, he received a one year and six month community order, a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days, a £300 court cost to be paid within three months and a forfeiture order where his phone was seized by the police.
The fraud involved opening a bank account in Stanmore using stolen credentials to match that of the intended victim. Once the new account was set up, the group fraudulently moved £112,000 of the victim’s funds into the new account. The group then attended a garage in Hertfordshire to buy a BMW M5 for nearly £70,000, using the funds. The rest of the funds were quickly transferred to third-party bank accounts before being moved into accounts under the control of Aweys.
The DCPCU issued a wanted report for Aweys, and he was arrested on 18 December 2020 by British Transport Police when trying to check in for a Eurostar train to Paris from London St Pancras.
The fraud, which took place between 26 September 2019 and 4 December 2019, was spotted by the bank and referred to the DCPCU to investigate. All victims of the fraud have been refunded, and the vehicle and its registration number have been recovered.
Jeremy Boxall, Detective Constable at the DCPCU, commented:
“Aweys and Myrie callously used an innocent victim’s funds totalling over £110,000.
“Fortunately we were able to track down both Aweys and Myrie, bringing them to justice for their role in this fraud.
“The DCPCU will continue to work closely with the banking industry to clamp down on organised crime groups involved in fraud.”