(Clockwise from top left): Makzhumi Abukar, Fahim Islam, Ahmed Ahmed and Anrul Islam (photos by BBC)
Eight Londoners have been imprisoned over defrauding UK
pensioners of more than one million pounds, some of which was spent to defray expenses of trips from UK
Engaged in a phone scam, the men were jailed Wednesday with the gang leader, Makzhumi Abukar, given seven years and four months, state-funded BBC reported Wednesday.
Celebrity R&B singer Nathan Fagan-Gayle is also among the members.
According to Judge Anuja Dhir from the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, they have shown no sign of remorse despite the “devastating and lasting impact” their measures have had on the victims, including a 94-year-old who lost 130,000 pounds.
“I was struck by their dignity and their courage when giving evidence about a matter that was so obviously painful for them to relive,” said the judge, praising Scotland Yard’s counter terrorism command for bringing them in.
The sentences for the rest of gang members ranged from around six years to 16 months, with Fagan-Gayle given a 20-months term for money laundering.
Active in southern England, the men called elderly citizens pretending to be police officers.
(Clockwise from top left) Sakaria Aden, Mohamed Dahir, Nathan Fagan-Gayle and Yasser Abukar
They, then, warned their victims over suspected fraud at their banks and instructed them to transfer money to other accounts for “safe keeping.”
Gang members called at the victims’ houses to receive the money as “couriers” in some other cases.
According to the Metropolitan Police, some 140 frauds and attempted frauds were discovered through investigations, which also revealed that 5,695 calls had been made to 3,774 different numbers through 16 telephone lines.
“They callously and systematically defrauded elderly people of their life savings,” said Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command. “Had we not arrested them and put them before the courts, the group may have gone on to defraud many more victims across the UK.”