Ilford man jailed for his role in global 'organised crime' conspiracy
PUBLISHED: 13:05 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:08 27 June 2017
An Ilford man who was a part of "an international organised crime group" has been jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice.
Tariq Khan, 35, of Meadway, Ilford, was also ordered to repay £20,000 to Lincolnshire NHS Trust at Leicester Crown Court yesterday for his role in a conspiracy which defrauded several NHS hospitals, councils and the Guernsey government out of £12.6m.
The criminal network targeted 21 public bodies by forging letters pretending to be from building firms already carrying out work for them - taking advantage of financial transparency rules which allow people to view public sector contracts.
Judge Philip Head sentenced 10 members of the gang and said: “This was a sophisticated and widespread fraud in its conception and execution.
“These bodies were selected because it was hoped their accounting processes would be vulnerable.
“The loss falls necessarily on those who are not able to pay it, ultimately the members of the public whose taxes fund these bodies.”
The co-conspirators wrote, either by email or fax, claiming that their companies’ banking details had changed and would supply a new account controlled by the criminals.
A number of those convicted provided the accounts, or administered the movement of money while others targeted organisations.
Khan received his sentence for supplying false documents to police.
Alarm bells were raised when an employee of the building firm Costain spotted a dubious letter from the group at Lincoln’s St George’s Hospital.
An investigation was launched and required the co-operation of law enforcement in Poland and Dubai.
The fraudsters were jailed for between 10 years and 22 weeks but the group’s ring leader Bayo Awonorin, from Nigeria, is still at large.
Det Sgt Mike Billam, who led Lincolnshire Police’s investigation, said: “I am pleased to say that with the assistance of law enforcement in Dubai, Poland and other countries, this investigation has got to the heart of this conspiracy and has disabled what was clearly an international organised crime group.
“The sentences handed out to 10 defendants reflect the fact that these individuals, motivated only by their own personal greed, have sought to take the taxpayers’ money.”