A Mexborough man has today been found guilty of playing a role in a £2.8m fraud which involved hijacking the accounts of genuine mobile phone customers.
Three men were convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court in London of charges of conspiracy to defraud and possession of articles for use in fraud. They will be sentenced on Friday, April 11.
Imran Rasab, 35, of Hooton Road, Mexborough, (pictured) was said to be behind a company which purchased thousands of mobile phone customer details from marketing companies who collate such information.
When his property was searched, he was found to be in possession of SIM “gateway” equipment with multiple SIM card slots, which were used to dial several phone numbers at the same time.
Kaleem Hussain, 30, of Maynard Road, Rotherham, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud and will be sentenced on the same date.
DC Mark Wootton of South Yorkshire Police said the guilty verdicts came after a long investigation, carried out in conjunction with mobile phone companies.
He said: “Having worked on this investigation for many years, following a complex international trail of documents, false identities and fraudulent practices we then had to build an effective case and liaise with colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service to bring this complex issue to a successful conclusion in court.
“South Yorkshire Police will pursue any individual, regardless of their professional standing, if they are involved in organised crime.
“The conspiracy was organised and highly effective and as a result some victims received bills in excess of £80,000, which must have come as a shock. Vodafone rightly and properly helped pursue these criminals.”
South Yorkshire Police launched the investigation in June 2010, working closely with Investigators from mobile phone company Vodafone.
The fraud involved the hijacking of genuine mobile phone customers’ accounts. Those hijacked accounts were used to repeatedly call international premium rates lines and foreign destinations.
Waseem Rashid of Old Clifton Lane, Rotherham, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. The 26-year-old gave his own details when obtaining a SIM card from a mobile phone shop in Meadowhall, and provided the details of another person to obtain a SIM which was later linked to 47 hijacks of genuine accounts.
Nadeem Ali of Clifton Lane, Rotherham, travelled abroad to France and the Netherlands. During both trips, SIM cards were used to call international numbers and these SIM cards linked to hijacked customers of Vodafone. The 26-year-old was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud.