Newham pair found guilty of running ‘fraud factory’
- Credit: Archant
A trio of scam-artists have today been found guilty of running a fraud “factory” making counterfeit documents, including passports.
Tayyab Ahmed Al-Riaz, 34, of Western Road, Plaistow, Valentina Miu, 31, of Wolsey Road, East Ham, and Muhammed Saleem, 28, of Mottisfont Road, Abbey Wood, were convicted of a combined total of ten counts of fraud and making false identity documents at Kingston Crown Court.
Police commander Richard Walton hailed the convictions as signifying that a “large illegal factory producing false documents” had been shut down.
The gang were arrested and charged after police raided the East Ham property in December last year.
Officers seized several stolen passports, travel and identity documents, counterfeit passport pages, holographic patches and laminate passport coverings as well as counterfeit UK residence permits during the raid.
They also discovered a number of lost or stolen bank cards, a USB stick with details on how to make false documents, two “chip and pin” card readers.
The raid was carried out after Saleem was linked to a separate case a week earlier in which two men were stopped at Dover and found to be in possession of false identity documents.
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Officers executed a search warrant at Saleem’s address in Abbey Wood, where they found letters addressed to a “Mohammed Salim” in East Ham, and this led officers to Al-Riaz and Miu.
Further enquiries led detectives to identify a bank account held by Miu, which had £10,000 paid into it and was believed to be fraudulently obtained.
Altogether, more than £170,000 had been laundered through that account alone, police said, which was later recovered by the bank.
Al-Riaz and Saleem were each convicted of possession of false identity documents with improper intention while Miu was found guilty of money laundering.
All three were also convicted of three counts of possession of an apparatus designed for the making of false identity documents with a prohibited intention and four counts of possessing articles for use in fraud.
A date for the sentencing has yet to be set.