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Party is Over for Manchester Credit Card Fraudsters

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A Manchester crime group responsible for fraudulently ordering more than half-a-million pound worth of goods in a credit card scam have been jailed.

On the 13th January 2015, eight members of this criminal network were sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for their roles in the scam, which potentially involved more than 2,000 businesses across the country.

The investigation by Greater Manchester Police Fraud Investigation Team identified the gang fraudulently ordered more than £600,000 worth of goods from 57 companies across the UK.

However, officers believe this was just the tip of the iceberg as analysis of phone records suggests they contacted more than 2,000 potential victims and couriers and that the actual loss could be in excess of 2 million pounds.

Between June 2011 and November 2012, this gang contacted multiple businesses across the UK, ordering a variety of goods using stolen and compromised credit cards obtained from illegal online forums.

They then placed orders for hundreds of thousands of pounds on goods such as cabling, tiles, food, alcohol, fridges, cars, high-value metal and other wholesale goods.

The following offenders pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud:

Ammar Khalid (born 10/10/1987), of Elder Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment

Irfan Khan (born 25/03/1988), of King Street South, Rochdale, was sentenced to 3 years 4 months imprisonment

Ahmed Sohail Pasha (born 15/12/1987), of Milkstone Road, Rochdale, was sentenced to 3 years 4 months imprisonment

Shazad Arshad (born 10/10/1994) of Anne Linne Close, Rochdale, was sentenced to 18 months in a Young Offenders Institute

Hamza Mughal (born 01/08/1988), of Surma Close, Rochdale, was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.

Faraz Malik (born 04/10/1986) of Bosworth Street, Rochdale, was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment

The following offenders pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods:

Aqeel Malik (born 26/11/1986) of Bertha Road, Rochdale, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 200 hours unpaid work and a 9 month supervision order.

Mohammed Sohail Khan (born 12/08/1988) of Queens Road, Oldham, was convicted of handling stolen goods and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 200 hours unpaid work and a 9 month supervision order.

Two other defendents, Usman Shafa and Christopher Goodhew are to be sentenced on 2 February 2015 for handling stolen goods.

The gang adopted aliases and contacted businesses, using the stolen credit card details to pay for the goods over the phone. Initially there were no concerns as the payments were successfully processed using remote payment machines. Subsequently the goods were delivered to a variety of locations across Rochdale.

Private couriers were met by the gang, the goods were unloaded and shortly afterwards collected by pre-arranged buyers.

Several weeks later, the companies discovered they had been defrauded and the true account holders, whose details had been stolen, reported the unusual transactions to their banks. As a result, the funds were taken from the company⿿s accounts leaving them at a loss.

The Fraud Investigation Unit’s inquiries began in November 2011 when police responded to a report of suspicious activity on Grandidge Street, Rochdale, where officers found Faraz Malik and his cousin Aqeel Malik unloading a quantity of stolen steel.

As the investigation progressed, officers also seized quantities of dog food, fridges and alcohol which had all been bought using compromised details.

Officers also recovered phone records and text messages between the gang which showed an exchange of card details, aliases and potential targets. At the home of Shazad Arshad, officers found an embossing handle used to print card numbers onto counterfeit cards, counterfeit cards were found at the homes of Ahmed Sohail Pasha, Ammar Khalid and Faraz Malik and software to write card details onto the magnetic strips of credit cards was found on a laptop in Irfan Khan’s bedroom.

Detective Sergeant Phil Larratt, of GMP’s Fraud Investigation Team, said: “This gang were involved in a concerted, full-time operation to defraud companies out of thousands of pounds worth of goods.

“It is clear from the sheer scale of the evidence we recovered that these men thought they had an unearthed a goldmine and had no intention of slowing down or stopping. I have no doubt they⿿d still be trying to con businesses out of thousands of pounds today had we not caught them.

“This was this gang’s full-time occupation. The group operated as a business with a clear hierarchy and structure. Ammar Khalid, Irfan Khan and Ahmed Sohail Pasha directed operations from the comfort of their own homes, accessing the dark web and placing orders using the compromised card details.

“In times of austerity, these businesses lost tens of thousands of pounds thanks to the underhand tactics of this gang and potentially could have faced financial ruin.

“However, thanks to the work and dedication of the officers from the Fraud Investigation Unit we were able to unravel their web of deception and they have now been exposed so that no other businesses can be targeted by this gang. We carried out a painstaking investigation involving meticulous examination of financial and phone records and I am delighted all that work has paid off.

“We know there may be other similar scams being operated here in Greater Manchester and across the country so I would urge anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to contact Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) Greater Manchester Police are determined to disrupt and prosecute the perpetrators of this type of serious and organised criminality. Anyone found guilty of committing these types of fraud, as this gang have found out to their cost, can expect a stint in prison.”

Picture, from left to right, of Mughal, Irfan Khan, Sohail Pasha and Shazad Arshad

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Girl aged 8 who was stabbed to death named as Mylee Billingham

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A little girl who was tragically stabbed to death has been named as 8-year-old Mylee Billingham.

Police responded to a domestic related incident near Walsall and sadly discovery Mylee seriously injured.

Despite frantic efforts by police, paramedics and doctors nothing could be done to save Mylee.

Cops immediately arrested a man aged 54 in connection with her murder.

Sadly Mylee was found with life threatening injuries at a property in Brownhills, near Walsall, on Saturday night, and died a short time later in hospital.

West Midlands Police said the man was also taken to hospital with a stab wound to the stomach.

The 54-year-old man who was arrested remains in a “critical” condition and will Be question “in due course” in relation to the murder of 8 year old Mylee.

Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with Mylee’s death.

Our thoughts are with Mylee’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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Girl 8 stabbed to dead in Walsall, West Midlands

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Police have launched a murder investigation after an 8 year old girl was stabbed to death near Walsall.

A 54-year-old man has been arrested following the attack overnight in Brownhills.

Cops responded to a 999 call at 9.15pm to reports of a disturbance at the address on arrival they found a girl with serious injuries.

She was rushed to hospital but sadly nothing could be done to save her this girls injuries were too serious and she died a short time later.”

The 54-year-old man was also taken to hospital and treated for a stab wound to his stomach.

Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, from the homicide unit, said: “We are treating this as a domestic incident and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the child’s death.

“Our family liaison team are supporting the family of the little girl, who are naturally devastated by her death. Our thoughts remain with them.”

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Parents warned after hooded man follows and grabs second child in 24 hours

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Chilling CCTV footage has been released of what is believed to be an attempted abduction of a schoolgirl aged 11 just 24 hours after another school girl reported that she was approached and grabbed by a man as she walked to school in north Manchester.

Police are linking both incidents are warning parents to remain vigilant after a second child was grabbed walking to school.

CCTV footage shows a young girl being approached by a stranger in the street, police have now launched an investigation after the girl was followed and grabbed.

The girl managed to fight off the man and break free before she raised the alarm on Acre Top Road. She escaped unharmed.

The incident happened at 8.30am on Wednesday, January 10th as the girl walked to school. Police are also investigating another incident in which another schoolgirl was grabbed near Sainsbury’s on Middleton Road by the Heaton Park roundabout, was also reported the day before, the school said.

Crab Lane Primary School, in Higher Blackley, released a letter to parents warning that a stranger had attempted to grab a school girl on her way into school ‘The matter was reported to police immediately and the child was able to give a good description,’ the letter from headteacher Pat Adams said.

‘The police have informed us that a similar incident occurred near the Sainsbury’s, by the Heaton Park roundabout, the day before. ‘The police suspect that the two incidents are connected, given the short distance between them and the fact that both girls gave a similar description of the man in question.

‘As of yet, the police have not located this man. Therefore, please take extra precautions to remind your children of ‘stranger danger’ and the importance of being vigilant when on the streets without an adult.’

Police have said the suspect is described as a white man of slim build aged in his 30s he has blond hair and a blue jacket.

Thankfully both children managed to break free, Police are now warning parents to be on their guard and request that children walk in groups of two on their way to and from school.

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