East Ham man facing sentence for charity clothing scam

Charity donation bins throughout the country have been robbed of thousands of pounds of clothing which is sold on in Eastern Europe, police have claimed.

Detectives were first alerted to the thefts last year when they were contacted by a voluntary worker from the charity Clothes Aid.

They had been told by various charities that bags were vanishing throughout the UK but particularly in and around east London. They believed the bags were being taken to an industrial site in Rainham, Essex.

Scotland Yard said investigating officers traced the bags to a lorry site and container yard where they discovered a shipping container filled with over 3,000 bags of clothing, weighing more than 20 tonnes, which were all due to be transported to Eastern Europe to be sold for a significant profit.

The haul was still clearly marked with UK charity logos including the NSPCC, the PDSA and the British Heart Foundation, and should have been sold to raise money for good causes.

At the site in October they found Arnas Gasiuna, of South Esk Road, Forest Gate, as he tried to load a haul of stolen clothing for shipment. He was arrested.,

At Basildon Crown Court he was found guilty of dishonest handling. He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on Monday (28 November).

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Detective Sergeant John Kirby, who led the investigation, said: “A haul of this size proves that Gasiuna had been operating in an organized manner for some time.

“The clothes were stolen from doorsteps and registered charity clothes bins with a view to sell them on in Eastern Europe.

“This man was not only duping generous homeowners who took the time to donate their clothes but was also robbing charities of an essential form of income.”