July 19th 2016
The City of London Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are today calling on the public’s help to catch ten wanted fraudsters who are linked to over £20 million in fraud losses in the UK and abroad.
The ten have been identified through the work of the Joint Fraud Taskforce, an initiative launched by then-Home Secretary, Theresa May in February this year that brings together law enforcement agencies, the financial sector and Government to fight criminals who prey on the public, UK businesses and our economy, and to protect the public from fraud.
The taskforce has been charged with creating a new era of collaboration, resulting in greater shared intelligence, a unified response to, and greater awareness of, the risk of fraud in the UK.
The wanted fraudsters have been identified through the Collective Response area of the Taskforce’s work. This work is jointly led by the City of London Police, in its role as lead force for fraud, and the National Crime Agency.
The ten are being investigated by police forces and Government departments across all areas of the UK and show the scale and breadth of the fight against fraud including how criminals use the internet and global financial systems to commit their crimes and then launder the criminal proceeds.
Law enforcement is working with the banking sector not only to initially freeze then seize their assets but also help investigators trace them. This close partnership between law enforcement and banking ensures criminals are brought to justice and helps to maintain the integrity of our financial system.
The internet has allowed criminals to target people in the UK from anywhere in the world while also enabling them to mask or hide their identity.
The ten are being released ahead of the publication of the Crime Survey of England and Wales on Thursday (21 July) which is expected to show that fraud is the most prevalent crime in the UK. These will be the first full year results that contain questions on fraud and cyber crime. The interim results published in October 2015 indicated that there were 5.2 million frauds and 2.5 million cyber crimes.
Commissioner of the City of London Police Ian Dyson, said: “The City of London Police has learnt that the key to combating fraud is Government, law enforcement and business working together to bring criminals to justice and also design out the opportunities for them to commit crime in the first place. The Joint Fraud Taskforce is key to this and brings a new impetus to the UK’s response to fraud. I would urge anyone who has information on the ten wanted fraudsters to call officers as these people will continue to commit fraud across the globe that cause misery to so many worldwide."
Donald Toon, Director of the NCA’s Economic Crime Command, said: “The annual losses to the UK from fraud are estimated to be more than £190bn. Behind this headline figure lie the actions of criminals like the wanted fraudsters highlighted in this appeal, who have caused distress and loss to people and businesses up and down the country. Law enforcement cannot tackle this problem alone. It is only by working together, individuals, law enforcement, Government and the private sector – using structures like the Joint Fraud Taskforce – that we can protect the UK against fraud. It is important that anyone able to provide information on the ten fraudsters we are highlighting today takes the opportunity to pass that information to law enforcement to help bring them to justice.”
The Joint Fraud Taskforce is:
– Building a collective understanding of the threat from fraud, including how fraud is enabled.
– Developing new ways to more effectively identify disrupt and catch fraudsters.
– Empowering people to protect themselves from fraud through innovative and targeted campaigns.
– Helping to support those who have already been targeted by fraudsters or those who could be at risk in future.
– Closing down loopholes and vulnerabilities that allow fraudsters to operate.
Former in February this year, the Taskforce brings together law enforcement including City of London Police, National Crime Agency, Metropolitan Police Service, and Dedicated Card and Plastic Crime Unit; The Financial Industry including Financial Fraud Action UK, British Bankers Association, Cifas and the UK’s banks, card companies and wider financial institutions who are contributing both through their trade associations and as individual companies; and the Home Office for the Government.
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