Felixstowe: How did Port of Felixstowe lose £2.6 million to an email scam?

Port of Felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe - Credit: Archant

The owners of the Port of Felixstowe lost £2.6 million as a result of a trick email, a court has heard.

Hutchison Port Holdings were contacted by someone purporting to be a supplier informing the company that their bank details had changed and asking for payments to be processed to a different account, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

As a result of the fake email, Hutchison Port of Felixstowe lost £2.6 million over a 13 month period in 2012/13, said Richard Potts, prosecuting.

Before the court was Mohammed Fawzul-Rahman, 31, of Watford, who was jailed for four years for two offences of converting a total of £498,000 criminal property between March and November 2012. He had denied the charges but was found guilty after a trial.

Sentencing him, Recorder Ian Evans said some of the money obtained from Hutchison Port of Felixstowe by the trick email had come directly into his bank account.

Mr Evans said six of Fawzul-Rahman’s bank accounts were used to launder money as part of a larger fraud.

Over a period of six months a total of £498,000 was passed through his accounts and he was directly involved with withdrawing money and handing it over, said the judge.

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Felixstowe is Britain’s largest container port with more than 4,000 ships visiting a year. It is used by 33 shipping lines from around the world and sees 90 services a week from all continents.

Around 10,000 containers leave the port by rail each week to destinations as far afield as Bristol, Liverpool, Cleveland and Glasgow.

The port, which last year opened a new rail terminal, has already set aside £175m for the next stage of its development.

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