13th August 2019

Industry-funded fraud squad dismantles 13 criminal gangs in first half of 2019

Thirteen organised crime groups (OCGs) were dismantled by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) in the first half of 2019, double the number in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from UK Finance.

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, the newly appointed head of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit has warned that criminal gangs involved in trafficking guns and drugs are increasingly turning to online fraud, and called for more action to prevent fraudsters using social media platforms to recruit young people as “money mules”.

In the first half of this year, 39 fraudsters were convicted following investigations by the DCPCU, with a total of 44.5 years in prison handed out to defendants in fraud cases investigated by the unit. Over the same period, the DCPCU seized £333k of assets from criminal gangs, double the amount confiscated in the same period in 2018.

Detective Chief Inspector Robinson said: “These figures are testament to the hard work of the DCPCU officers who are on the frontline in the fight against fraudsters. The criminals involved are becoming increasingly organised and dangerous. We are seeing gangs involved in drug trafficking and firearms offences turning to fraud, targeting victims across the UK.”

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: “The DCPCU is central to the industry’s efforts to protect customers from fraud. Through this unique partnership between law enforcement and the finance industry, we are disrupting the gangs behind this devastating crime and making sure they have nowhere to hide.

“This forms part of a wide range of measures by the sector to combat fraud, such as investing in advanced security systems to detect suspicious transactions and catching fraudsters through the industry-wide Banking Protocol.”