Five jailed for mobile phone fraud

Five men have been jailed for their part in a £4.5 million global premium phone line fraud.

The gang admitted conspiracy to defraud in a scam where fraudulently obtained mobile phone sim cards were used to make multiple calls to premium rate phone lines outside the UK.

Mohammad Butt, 42, of Claremont Road, Forest Gate, east London, Abrar Arshad, 35, of Oastway, Rochford, Essex, and Abiola Salami, 30, of Broadway Plaza, Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, were each sentenced to three years for conspiracy to defraud mobile phone company 02.

Two other men who admitted conspiracy to defraud the company were also sentenced.

Nikhil Jamsandekar, 33, of St George's Road, Forest Gate, east London, was jailed for 27 months, and Ade James, 25, of Suffolk Street, Queensbury, Birmingham, was sentenced to 18 months.

The court heard that 02 lost nearly £4.5 million as a result of the scam, known as international revenue share fraud.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, sentencing the men at Southwark Crown Court in London, said: "This is not a victimless crime, as inevitably such huge losses are passed on in part to honest bill-paying customers.

"This fraud was carried out by an international gang of conspirators. Simply stated, innocent, honest individuals' personal identities and details were dishonestly acquired along with countless mobile phone handsets and sim cards which were dishonestly obtained."