Watch police leap over garden fences to arrest Islington fraudsters

·4-min read
Watch police leap over garden fences to arrest Islington fraudsters

This is the moment police launch themselves frantically over garden fences to make a dramatic arrest on a gang of fraudsters operating out of north London.

It led to four members of the gang - who preyed on dozens of elderly victims, conning them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds - being jailed for a total of 20 years and eight months.

Bodycam footage captured the moment a group of officers chased one of the suspects after they stormed his flat and he fled out of a back window onto the rooftops.

Police shout “armed police stay where you are” as they vault over gardens and up spiral staircases in the near two minute chase.

They finally catch one of the suspects in an alleyway pinning him to the floor.

The officer - whose bodycam footage was played in court - read the man his rights before arresting him on suspicion of fraud in April last year.

 (Gloucester Police)
(Gloucester Police)

Subsequent searches of the property in Theberton Street found cash, expensive designer clothing, Rolex watches, a Mercedes Benz and an Audi, which were all seized by officers.

Mohammed Rahman, Muhammed Maarjan, Muhammed Hussain and Shoriful Islam were handed the sentences when they appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.

The four had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

Rahman, Maarjan and Islam had also admitted possessing criminal property.

Rahman, 27, and of Leirum Street, Islington, was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.

Islam, 24, of Highbury New Park, Islington was sentenced to four years and eight months for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.

Hussain, 24, and of Collier Street, Islington, was sentenced to five years and four months for conspiracy to commit fraud.

Maarjan, 23, and of James Morgan Mews, Islington, was sentenced to four years and eight months for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.

The gang had contacted hundreds of potential victims across the country by telephone, targeting a region for a number of days before moving on to the next.

Once they had found a victim, the offenders, pretending to be police officers, patiently relayed a convincingly disturbing tale of a fraud investigation that had identified counterfeit currency being transferred into their bank accounts.

They were encouraged to go and remove thousands of pounds from their accounts immediately in order to hand it over to a “courier” sent by “the police”.

In total, they conned at least 60 vulnerable victims out of more than £290,000, dating back to 2019, and attempted to contact many thousands more, making around 7,000 calls to potential victims between January and April 2021.

Most of the victims were over the age of 75, with two aged 99.

Some of them were terminally ill or had dementia and other age related issues.

Many victims have been unable to recoup their loss.

Sentencing the men, Judge Michael Cullum told them: “Each of you were fully aware of the scale of the operation you were involved in and you were additionally aware of the basis of the fraud, which was to prey on the trust of the elderly.

“The fraud depended upon recognising and exploiting the frailty of the elderly. You found them in the last years of their lives. They rightfully had trust in the banks. They also had trust in the police, and rightfully so.

“You took from these elderly victims so much more than money. They were told if they did not comply, they would lose their life savings, which is exactly what did happen.

“At least half of them have failed to be reimbursed by the banks, because they told lies at your behest. These were your lies. These victims were intelligent, retired professionals who would naturally wish to assist the authorities.

“They were severely embarrassed and distressed by the loss of their savings, saying that they felt stupid. They are not. They were conned. I have no doubt that the effect on them has been to irretrievably change the way they look at life and society. It is bound to affect them for the rest of their days.”

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Matt Phillips, who led the investigation, said: “This sentence shows how seriously we take courier fraud.

“It was the result of a lot of immense hard work from many officers at Gloucestershire Constabulary, who went above and beyond to ensure that we could show just how low these men were willing to stoop in order to defraud the vulnerable and elderly.

“I want any gangs who try to target the people in our communities to know that we will not sit back but will actively pursue them for their crimes, not just in Gloucestershire but anywhere in the country.”

Two further people, Kawsar Ahmed and Mohammed Ahmed, are due to be sentenced on Tuesday 28 June.

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