"In some cases, they convinced the victim to move funds to a 'safe account'
Eight London-based criminals were jailed for more than 30 years at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, for impersonating police and stealing £242,000.
They targeted 25 victims across the country, including eight people who lived in Lincolnshire.
The total money lost by victims nationally was £242,000, with approximately £40,000 stolen from victims in Lincolnshire.
The eight criminals were charged with conspiracy to defraud and acquiring criminal property.
Ringleader Mohammed Hadi, aged 34, of Uamvar Street, London was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to defraud and acquiring criminal property.
It was heard that they targeted elderly and vulnerable people by telephone, whilst impersonating police officers.
The offences took place between July 23, 2014, and September 15 2015.
The investigation was jointly conducted by Lincolnshire Police and West Yorkshire Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Jemima Cholmondeley-Smith, Financial Investigator at Lincolnshire Police, said:
“The offenders were all part of an organised crime group living in London, where they convinced victims that their bank accounts had been compromised.”
“In some cases, they convinced the victim to move funds to a ‘safe account’, which in reality was an account belonging to one of the offenders.”
“They also convinced victims to withdraw cash from their bank account and hand it to a courier who had been sent to meet them.”
It was heard that large sums of cash were transferred, usually from £5,000 to £20,000.
The Court heard that by impersonating police, the offenders caused victims to be cautious of anyone claiming to be law enforcement.
Ms Cholmondeley-Smith added: “Victims said they felt embarrassed and were reluctant to speak to anyone about what had happened.”
“We urge anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a similar fraud to come forward and report it.”
“You are not alone, we take reports of nature extremely seriously, and we will do everything within our power to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Judge Rodney Jameson said: “Your aim was to target the elderly and the vulnerable.”
“You have not just stolen their money but their self-respect and independence.”
Mohammed Naahe, aged 50, of Jodrell Road, London was sentenced to seven years, two months in prison after admitting conspiracy to defraud.
Shahidur Ali, aged 24, of Byng Street, London pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for six and a half years.
Mahbub Aziz, aged 24, of Whitechapel, London confessed to the charges against him and was jailed for two and a half years.
Shah Abdal, aged 46, of White Horse Road, London was found guilty and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Mohammed Haque, aged 43, of Sidcup, London was found guilty of acquiring criminal property. He was jailed for two years and three months.
Mohammed Noor, aged 23, of Crowndale Road, London, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment after admitting conspiracy to defraud.
Syed Ahmed, aged 35, Tower Hamlets, London was jailed for nine months.