Rolex gang blew £90k on luxury holidays and designer clothes with help of bank insider

A trusted bank worker provided customer account details to a team of conmen who fraudulently obtained thousands of pounds of goods -including a jet ski, luxury Rolex watches, expensive jewellery and a catsuit.

Bilal Abbas betrayed his position at Santander by passing on details of a series of customers to Umair Memon for him and Jordan Hamilton-Thomas to use as part of a sustained scam.

The fraudsters bought items using the card details of unsuspecting bank customers from companies in Newcastle, Gateshead and around the country.

Police said pictures were seized from fraudster’s phones that showed them enjoying extravagant holidays and showing off expensive jewellery funded by their scam, reports Chronicle Live.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the £90,000 fraud left businesses, who were later told the transactions had been fraudulent, out of pocket and those who had their details stolen were left distressed.

Now the trio, who may have been working with others, have been jailed after admitting conspiracy to defraud between 2017 and 2019.

Nick Lane, prosecuting, said: "The conspiracy functioned through Abbas using his position at Santander bank to obtain details of account holders and their card numbers, which he then provided to Memon.

"Memon then used those details to purchase goods including luxury watches and a jet ski.

"He would collect them or get Hamilton-Thomas to collect them."

They targeted a number of jewellers to acquire items including Rolex watches and diamond and gold jewellery.

But they bit off more than they could chew at David Summerfield jewellery shop, in the Metrocentre, where suspicions were raised after three visits by Hamilton-Thomas and the police were called.

When Hamilton-Thomas turned up to collect items including a £6,000 watch, a police officer was waiting. He pushed the officer over and fled.

But CCTV showed he had arrived with Memon in a black VW Golf and Memon was found to still be in the shopping centre and was arrested by the officer who had been assaulted.

One of the lowest value items they got was a wet-look catsuit from Love Honey, the court heard.

Mr Lane said card holders whose details were used were reimbursed but were left feeling distressed and anxious.

The businesses also suffered, with one Newcastle-based artificial grass firm having to rely on loans from friends and family as a result of that and other frauds on it

Abbas, 30, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, Memon, 28, from Shipley, West Yorkshire and Hamilton-Thomas, 32, from West Ardsley, Leeds, all admitted conspiracy to defraud.

Abbas and Memon pleaded guilty on the basis the loss or potential loss was £90,160 while Hamilton-Thomas admitted a loss of £83,481.

Memon also admitted an unrelated charge of dangerous driving and Hamilton-Thomas admitted assault with intent to resist arrest.

Abbas was jailed for two years, Memon was jailed for 27 months with a 12 month road ban after his release and Hamilton-Thomas was jailed for 26 months.

Recorder David Gordon said the businesses involved suffered "not mere inconvenience but considerable upset" and the Santander customers whose card details were used were left distressed.

The judge said the trio used "entirely innocent people's bank account details" to obtain "extremely valuable items".

He told the men: "You, Bilal Abbas, worked for the Santander bank, you had worked for them for around ten years and as such you were in a position of considerable trust.

"You were able to access the private financial details of the clients of that bank.

"What you did was indeed to do exactly that, to deliberately obtain the credit card and debit card details of customers of Santander bank.

"You passed those details on to Umair Memon and you Memon, together with Jordan Hamilton-Thomas, used those details at various retail outlets."

The judge added: "This was a high-value enterprise, carried out methodically. You targeted high value goods."

Ian Hudson, for Abbas, said he is of previous good character and had an unblemished ten-year career at Santander before this.

He added: "He expresses remorse and references emphasise this is an offence out of character."

Jessica Heggie, for Memon, said he was in substantial debt at the time of the offending and added that his family are ashamed.

Safter Salam, for Hamilton-Thomas, said he had financial difficulties at the time and had got new job.

After the case, Detective Constable Patrick Naughten said: “This was a large-scale scam that has left businesses in our region, and across the country, thousands of pounds out of pocket.

“Bilal Abbas in particular has been in a position of trust and he has abused that position to target those customers whose details he was employed to protect.

“There is a degree of sophistication to the scam but once we began to uncover the frauds it was clear that Abbas was leaking confidential information.

“From there we followed the trail of breadcrumbs and found a haul of incriminating evidence in the homes of the offenders.“It became clear they had been living the high life at the expense of their victims and showed no remorse for those businesses they had left out of pocket.

I am delighted that they are now behind bars and will face the consequences of their actions."

A Santander spokesperson said: “Santander actively assisted the police with their investigation and we are pleased to see the perpetrators brought to justice.”Follow the Official Rokna NEWS Telegram Channel For More and fresh NEWS.


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