12th January 2020
UK: WORKERS HIT BY CONSTRUCTION FRAUD PROBE
On 11 January, Click Liverpool reported that construction workers in Liverpool are facing a difficult time finding work after 2 high-profile projects were halted following a fraud probe after Elliott Lawless, the founder of the Elliot Group, was arrested along with a senior official at Liverpool council as part of a fraud investigation.
“LIFE-LONG CRIMINAL” CONVICTED OF HIS ROLE IN A PLOT TO IMPORT 96 LETHAL FIREARMS INTO THE UK
On 6 January, UK Haulier carried an article saying that Steven Spires, 37, from Slough has been convicted of his role in a plot to import 96 lethal firearms into the UK following an investigation by the joint NCA and Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP). This followed a retrial, after his original conviction in 2018. He and 2 others were prosecuted following a discovery in 2017 of 79 handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition by UK Border Force officers based at Coqeulles, France,
PROTECTING LAW FIRM AND CLIENT FUNDS FROM CYBERCRIMINALS
In its 13 January edition, the Law Society Gazette published an article asking how can you avoid falling foul to a phishing scam and how can you mitigate the threat of cybercrime? It provides tips on improved security, including over passwords.
INDIAN MAN ADMITS US CALL CENTRE FRAUD STEALING MILLIONS
On 12 January, the Desiblitz website reported that an Indian man has pleaded guilty in the US for his role in a multi-million dollar call centre fraud that targeted Americans.
Hitesh Madhubhai Patel, 43, is said to have played a prominent role in operating and funding the India-based call centres 2013-16. Singapore authorities apprehended the Indian man, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant in September 2018, after he flew there from India, and in 2019 extradited him to the US.
CROSS-BORDER OPERATION TARGETS PEOPLE-TRAFFICKING NETWORK USING GIBRALTAR AS GATEWAY TO EUROPE
The Gibraltar Chronicle on 12 January reported that police in Gibraltar and Spain have arrested 47 people suspected of involvement in a people-trafficking network that allegedly used Gibraltar as a gateway into mainland Europe from Morocco.
The operation began in late 2018 and involved months of surveillance and investigation in Spain and Gibraltar. Arrests have taken place over the last 9 months. The gang is said to have used UK short-stay tourist visas in Morocco with which migrants then travelled to Gibraltar by plane or ferry, later to be driven into Spain overland.
TRIAL OF FORMER IAAF PRESIDENT LAMINE DIACK SET TO OPEN IN PARIS
Inside the Games website on 12 January reported that disgraced former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack, 86, faces prison if convicted at a trial beginning in Paris, where he stands accused of corruption, influence-trafficking and money laundering. Allegations relate to payments made to companies connected to Diack and his son Papa Massata – who will not appear at the trial because he refuses to be extradited from Senegal but could be convicted in absentia. It says that former Russian Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, the former head Russian athletics distance coach, are also due to stand trial but have refused to cooperate with the long-running French investigation.