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Crook who conned Mecca pilgrims out of £600,000 begins jail time

PUBLISHED: 10:47 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 05 October 2010

POLICE are in talks with the Bangladesh authorities ito get back £250,000 stolen by fraudster Mohammed Ahmed. The cash hidden in a Bangladesh bank account is part of the assets stolen by the conman who tricked 300 pilgrims out of their savings

By Mike Brooke

POLICE are in talks with the Bangladesh authorities in a bid to get back £250,000 stolen by fraudster Mohammed Ahmed, it has emerged today.

The cash hidden in a Bangladesh bank account is part of the assets stolen by the conman who tricked 300 pilgrims out of their savings, which will be subject to a confiscation hearing later this year.

The 41-year-old crooked travel agent who amassed £600,000 with his Hajj’ scam in London’s East End was jailed for six years yesterday.

OFFICE RAIDED

Many of his victims were in court to see him being sentenced. He had tricked them out of their life savings with cut price once in a lifetime’ offers to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia through his phoney travel firm.

He took their deposits and their passports before skipping the country.

A raid at Ahmed’s Qibia Hajj Kafela’ travel business in Whitechapel’s Old Montague Street uncovered 300 passports and paperwork which identified £600,000 having been taken in pilgrimage fees.

SHAMELESS

Ahmed had fled to Bangladesh just days earlier, but was arrested at Gatwick when he tried to slip back into the country in March.

The cop who hunted him down, Det Ins Des McHugh, said yesterday: “He shamelessly defrauded hundreds of people who had planned the most significant trip of their lives. Many lost their entire life savings.”

Ahmed pleaded guilty to a string of fraud and money laundering offences at Snaresbrook crown court on June 4.


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