Thursday, 13 May 2021 22:34

Wiltshire Police worked with the Metropolitan Police to target a suspected courier fraud gang Featured

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POLICE in Wiltshire have worked closely with the London Metropolitan Police on a fraud investigation that has resulted in five arrests in the capital.

A spokesman for the Force said that officers made a number of arrests in London on Tuesday following frauds against vulnerable people in the local area.

A gang had been targeting victims by calling them, pretending that they were the police and asking for help investigating fraud in banks or other organisations.

The callers tried to trick victims into withdrawing money, or buying expensive items, and handing them to a ‘courier’ (another criminal) who would come to the victim’s home.

Alison Wiles, manager of Wiltshire Police’s Complex Fraud Team, said: “I would like to reiterate that neither the police nor your bank will ever ask you to assist an investigation by withdrawing or transferring your own money or purchasing high value items.

“If such requests are made, I would urge you to hang up straight away and contact the police. I would also ask that you speak to your friends or family to make them aware of this type of crime.”

Officers from the Wiltshire Police Complex Fraud Team and specialist support units travelled to London as part of Project Optimise, designed to tackle serious and organised criminality,

In response to a number of courier fraud offences committed across Wiltshire in recent weeks, the county's officers worked closely with the Metropolitan Police Service.

It resulted in a raid on a central London location where five men were arrested on suspicion of S2 fraud (false representation) and money laundering.

Police said that it appeared that a sophisticated and organised scheme was operating that preyed on a large number of victims and was being run as a business enterprise.

Detective Superintendent Steve Kirby said: “This is a great example of different police forces and teams coming together to robustly disrupt organised crime.

"It is something that we take incredibly seriously, and we will do everything possible to ensure that criminals preying on vulnerable members of our society are stopped promptly and held to account.”

The arrested men have been released under investigation and police enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information pertaining to courier frauds or other organised criminality is urged to provide information to Wiltshire Police on 101, or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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