Conman dupes banks of £100k

AN asylum seeking conman caught in an Ipswich department store is to be sentenced next month after scamming nearly £100,000 from banks.Ali Mohamad was arrested in Debenhams after he was seen acting suspiciously, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

AN asylum seeking conman caught in an Ipswich department store is to be sentenced next month after scamming nearly £100,000 from banks.

Ali Mohamad was arrested in Debenhams after he was seen acting suspiciously, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Richard Wood prosecuting said Mohammed, 34, had “quite a large number of bank cards in other people's names” on him, but none of the cards had been reported stolen.

The court heard that Mohammed had pleaded guilty to four charges of obtaining property by deception by using credit and debit cards which were not his.


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He obtained more than £95,000 from banks including the Alliance and Leicester and the Woolwich.

Mr Woods said the four charges were specimen counts of larger criminal activity.

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He added that £57,420 had been recovered.

The court heard that Mohamad fled Afghanistan in 1997 where he had been a senior member of the judiciary in pre-Taliban times.

Mohamad who lives in Benbow Road, London with his wife and child told police the bank cards belonged to his brother and he intended to reimburse him.

Mr Woods said police discovered Mohamad had 31 alias names and had been convicted of identical offences in July 2002.

At that time police found a “vast quantity” of credit cards and documents on Mohamad belonging to other people living in Afghanistan and Algeria.

As well as the four fraud offences Mohamad pleaded guilty to after his arrest at Debenhams in July 2004 he also admitted falsely claiming income support on two occasions.

Ian Bridge mitigating said his client's offending was due to a “serious mental health condition which was deteriorating”.

However he added that doctors said it was not serious enough to admit Mohamad into hospital.

Mr Bridge said his client had been in custody for 15 months due to a deportation order which was made on a false basis.

Judge John Devaux said he needed a pre sentence report before he could decide Mohamad's fate.

He said Mohamad was to remain in custody until the fortnight commencing May 22 when he is due to be sentenced.

Judge Devaux said he was considering making a community rehabilitation order.

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