A London man has been charged with two offences of money laundering and with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
The charges follow an investigation into recent ‘courier’ frauds in Sussex, one of which resulted in a pensioner from Fairlight losing a large amount of money.
Safikul Islam, 34, a waiter, of Smithy Street, London E1, appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court on Friday (17 April) and was remanded in custody for an initial Crown Court hearing on 8 May.
It alleged that Islam conspired with others to trick victims in Sussex and elsewhere into transferring large sums of money to bank accounts under his control, then quickly withdrawing the cash and converting it into criminal property by purchasing high value jewellery, gold bars and electrical goods.
Detective Inspector Gill Sole of the Sussex Police Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) said; “It is good that people are becoming increasingly wary of cold callers purporting to be from banks or the police, and asking them to disclose bank and card details over the phone.
“Only this week we have reports of 16 such attempts in Sussex, all of which were unsuccessful - in 14 cases the residents who received the calls became swiftly suspicious, and in the two other cases bank staff intervened and preventing the fraud succeeding.
“However we are also aware of some 300 calls of this type to Sussex numbers in the past three weeks so it is still important that people continue to be aware of this sort of crime and in particular, to warn vulnerable friends and relatives.