Royal Mail staff who worked in a postal sorting office jailed for over 9 years after £1 million fraud was uncovered
A joint investigation by the Royal Mail and the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), has resulted in two postal sorting office workers being jailed for a substantial cheque fraud.
Moshin Abbas, 36, and Anjam Shah, 37, both worked at the Royal Mail sorting office in Luton. While manually sorting post, Abbas and Shah intercepted mail that was destined for local companies which regularly received cheque payments.
The intercepted cheques worth over £1 million were then paid into business bank accounts that had been set up in the same name as the target company. The funds were subsequently quickly removed from the accounts through cash withdrawals, transfers to beneficiary accounts and payments to merchants.
The DCPCU – the police unit sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from Financial Fraud Action UK, found a total of £1.082 million worth of cheques were stolen by Abbas over a period of one and a half years. Shah was involved for just over a year, and played a part in the theft of £795,000 worth of the total amount. Searches of the fraudsters’ home addresses found a number of stolen, but as yet unbanked, cheques, along with over £12,000 in cash.
Today, 6 May 2015, Abbas was sentenced to 5 years 3 months imprisonment, with a 9 month sentence for money laundering to run concurrently. Shah was sentenced to a total of 4 years and 1 month imprisonment, including a month for assault.
Detective Constable Aine Matthews, who led the investigation for the DCPCU, said: “Abbas and Shah took advantage of the trust placed in them to carry out this large-scale fraud and we are pleased that they have now been brought to justice for their crimes. Today’s sentence sends a strong message to others considering following a similar path – you will be caught and punished.”
Tony Marsh, Royal Mail Group Security Director, said: “Royal Mail has a zero tolerance approach to dishonesty and that stance is shared by the overwhelming majority of our postmen and women, who work hard to provide a first-class service for our customers six days a week.
“It is a criminal offence to tamper with or delay the delivery of mail and anyone caught doing so will face serious disciplinary measures and Royal Mail will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.
“The safety and security of mail is of the utmost importance to this business and Royal Mail will not allow the actions of any individual to damage the good reputation of our thousands of hardworking postmen and women.”