Gang stole £12.6m from public bodies Midland men jailed for laundering the money
TWO Redditch men have been jailed for their part in a fraud which funnelled £12.6 million cash from NHS hospitals, councils and the Guernsey government.
Abdul Naeem, 36, and Mohammed Nadeem, 33, of Lineholt Close, Oakenshaw South, were each given 67-month terms for laundering the dirty cash through legitimate businesses including a café in Sutton Coldfield.
Abdul Ghaffar, 68, from the same address, received a 22-week suspended sentence.
They were among ten men who were part of a high stakes criminal conspiracy which fooled 22 bodies including health trusts into handing over the money by sending forged letters claiming to be from legitimate building contractors carrying out work for the organisation.
The letters announced a change of bank details to overseas accounts operated by the gang, who then laundered the money through other legitimate businesses.
Sentencing ten of those involved at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Philip Head said: “This was a sophisticated and widespread fraud in its conception and execution.
“These bodies were selected because it was hoped their accounting processes would be vulnerable. The loss falls necessarily on those who are not able to pay it, ultimately the members of the public whose taxes fund these bodies.”
After a Lincoln NHS hospital first raised the alarm, detectives uncovered a fraud and money laundering operation crossing international borders, involving not just the UK, but Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The man the judge called the “prime mover”, identified in court as Nigerian national Bayo Awonorin, is still at large, having failed to answer to police bail. Among the conspirators were a former nightclub toiletries’ seller, company directors and a newsagent. Ill-gotten gains were laundered through “many layers” of accounts, with the cash funnelled to legitimate businesses, including a children’s soft play area development in Scotland and the café in Sutton Coldfield.
The conspiracy’s tendrils stretched to company accounts in Poland, Dubai and Nigeria, with targets including an airport development run by the States of Guernsey, the Royal College of Arts and NHS trusts in Lincolnshire, London, and the North.
> Abdul Naeem is one of those jailed