Six men and a woman arrested by police investigating ‘cash for Jihad’ cold-calling scam raising money for Syrian terrorism

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From The Daily Mail

According to investigators, who launched the probe in March, the extremists masquerade as policemen before calling their victims and claiming their bank details have been compromised.

The frightened victims are then told to switch all their cash to another account to keep it safe – but the account belongs to the fraudsters. The money is then used to buy weapons, ammunition and combat gear for Islamic State militants. 

Police said the six men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. The woman was arrested over money laundering allegations.

A 23-year-old man and the 32-year-old woman were arrested following a search on an address in north London. Four men – two aged 23, one 21-year-old and one aged 28 – were arrested at separate addresses in north London. In Luton, a 38-year-old man was detained.

Separately, police said that a 46-year-old woman was also arrested at one of the north London addresses on suspicion of an offence under section 2 of the Child Abduction Act 1984. She was arrested over an unrelated probe which is investigating the whereabouts of a young girl believed to have been taken to Turkey.

Scotland Yard has now warned members of the public to be on their guard for the bogus calls. 

A spokesman said: ‘The arrests today form part of an ongoing fraud investigation, whereby unsuspecting vulnerable and elderly victims are ‘cold called’ on their home phone by a suspect impersonating a police officer.

‘Members of the public are strongly advised, if you receive a call like this about your bank account from someone claiming to be a police officer, hang up the phone, wait at least five minutes to make sure the phone line has cleared, or use another phone line, before ringing the phone number on your bank card.’ 

The Government is being urged to do more to stop the flow of money to Islamic State. It is considered to be the richest terror group in history and may have access to more than £1.2billion in cash. Its funds come from the revenue of captured oil fields, business extortion and hostage ransoms.

There are also concerns that donations to British aid organisations could be being diverted to terrorists. Fanatics have previously posed as charity collectors in town centres across the country to raise jihadi money. 

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