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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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TV Presenter Dale Winton Dies Aged 62

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Dale Winton who was best known for his game show Supermarket Sweep and In It To Win it has tragically died aged 62z

His agent has this evening confirmed the very sad news that Winton has lost his life.

No further details around Winton’s death have been released and it is requested that his family are offered privacy at this very tragic time.

His long-term agent Jan Kennedy said:

It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Dale Winton who died at home earlier today.

While we know many will share this terrible loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time of grief.

A number of tributes have been left on Twitter

Winton started his career as a DJ in London and he was soon hosting his own show on local radio.

This lead Winton to joining the BBC Bristol to present Pet Watch for BBC One.

Over the years he also worked for Channel 4 ITV and on BBC One’s national lottery show.

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Girl aged 5 sadly dies after being recovered from the water at Durdle Door in Dorest

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Officers investigating an incident where a girl tragically died after being recovered from the water at Durdle Door are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

At around 11.30am today, Wednesday 18 April 2018, HM Coastguard received reports of a child and a woman in distress in the water at Durdle Door in Dorset.

The woman was rescued from the water by a member of the public. A Ministry of Defence military range safety vessel, which was in the area and responded to a Mayday broadcast, recovered the girl from the water.

The five-year-old girl, from Salisbury, was taken by the RNLI Weymouth Lifeboat to Weymouth and transferred by the ambulance service to Dorset County Hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead.

Detective Inspector Steve May, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the young girl involved at this very difficult time.

“At this time there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than a tragic accident however, with the sudden death of any child we have an obligation to carry out an investigation to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed how the girl came to be in the water and has not already spoken to police to contact us immediately.

“There were also a number of visitors in the area at the time and I am appealing to anyone who may have filmed or photographed the incident to please get in touch as it may assist our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email [email protected] or by calling 101, quoting incident number 18:127. 

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Police name Steven John Willis following targeted murder

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Cleveland Police have this morning named Steven John Willis aged 27 following what is believed to have been a targeted murder.

Steven’s body was found in the road outside of his home in Meadowcroft Road, Normanby.

Locally Steven was also known as Steven Pickering or Picko. There have been floods of tributes on social media.

It is believed Steven was subjected to a violent and targeted attack.

Cleveland Police are currently holding five men in police custody on suspicion of murder.

Police received a 999 reporting a disturbance near Skippers Lane Normanby.

Crime scene investigators are combing the area following the death. Officers responded to the incident just after 10.30pm on April 16th.

It is believed all five men are being held at separate police stations

Local residents have told Police Hour that police have not yet conducted house to house enquires but police remain at the house on the corner of Meadowcroft Road.

The crime scene within the area bas been reduced and now centres around the front garden of Meadowcroft Road and the house in which Steven lived within.

The area in which the incident happened is a very quiet area.

Cleveland Police progressed the investigation very quickly initially announcing three arrests had been made all men aged 20, 22 and 31 all being held on suspicion or murder.

Later it was announced a fourth arrest had been made of a man aged 21.

A fifth arrest of another 21-year-old man was then made late on Tuesday evening.

All five men currently remain in police custody for questioning.

Cleveland Police have not released details surrounding the incident that unfolded however two people aged 17 and 44 are being treated at James Cook Hospital they are in a non-life threatening stable condition.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Cleveland Police on 101.

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