Pension phone scam gang banged up for 35 years

cyber gang banged up for 30 years 2A gang of eight men from London has been jailed for a total of nearly 35 years for a phone scam that defrauded UK pensioners out of more than £1m.
Gang leader Makzhumi Abukar was jailed for seven years and four months, while his accomplices – including a former X Factor contestant – recevied sentances ranging from six-and-a-half years to 10 months.
It is claimed that some of the money might have been used to fund people travelling to Syria to join so-called Islamic State, although X Factor contestant Nathan Fagan-Gayle went on a spending spree.
During the scam, carried out across the South of England, members of the gang members phoned elderly victims under the guise of police officers. They told victims about suspected fraud at their banks and instructed them to withdraw money or transfer it to different accounts for safe keeping.
In some cases this involved pensioners handing over cash to couriers, were gang members pretending they were working for the police. Many victims were deceived into lying to their family, friends and banks about what they were doing.
Some of the victims – the oldest of whom was 94 – lost as much as £130,000.
Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Judge Anuja Dhir said that none of the convicted men had shown any genuine remorse. She told the men their crimes would have a “devastating and lasting impact” on the victims, whose average age was 83.
Speaking about the victims, the judge added: “I was struck by their dignity and their courage when giving evidence about a matter that was so obviously painful for them to relive.”
The eight men – Makzhumi Abukar, Sakaria Aden, Fahim Islam, Yasser Abukar, Ahmed Ahmed, Mohamed Dahir, Nathan Fagan-Gayle, and Anrul Islam – will all serve half their sentences before being eligible for release on licence.
The Metropolitan Police said about 140 frauds and attempted frauds were identified as part of the investigation – and more may have gone unreported by victims who were embarrassed by what had happened.
The force said officers found 16 telephone lines the group used to make 5,695 calls to 3,774 different numbers.

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