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MP praises cops for catching trickster who conned pilgrims

PUBLISHED: 10:56 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 05 October 2010

AN MP today congratulated police chiefs in London’s East End after tracking down a con-man who tricked £600,000 out of Muslim pilgrims. Hundreds of worshippers paid deposits and handed in their passports to the fraudster before he skipped the country

By Mike Brooke

AN MP this-morning has praised police in London’s East End after they caught a con-man who tricked £600,000 out of Muslim pilgrims.

Hundreds of worshippers paid deposits and handed in their passports to fraudster Mohammed Ahmed before he skipped the country.

But he was eventually caught by detectives at Gatwick airport and appeared in court yesterday.

The MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, George Galloway, called his crime “obscene” after he tricked pilgrims saving to go on their once-in-a-lifetime Hajj to Mecca.

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“There is something particularly obscene about a fraud perpetrated on people who have saved up to go to Hajj,” said Galloway.

“I want to congratulate the Met Police and in particular Tower Hamlets borough commander Paul Rickett and to Det Ins Des McHugh and the other officers involved.

“It was hard and intelligent work they put in to bring the perpetrator of this fraud to justice.”

Ahmed pleaded guilty to a string of fraud and money laundering offences at his travel agency in Spitalfields when he appeared at Snaresbrook crown court yesterday (June 4) and will be sentenced later.


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