Dunstable man who scammed people out of more than £1.8m for fake rugby tickets is convicted

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A Dunstable man has been convicted for his part in a £1.8million ticketing fraud that scammed people out of money for fake international rugby tickets.

Jermaine Daley, 40, of Victoria Street, Dunstable Andy Mensah, 33, of Vermont Road, Wandsworth, London, were key to the fraud and were both found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering.

Seven other people were convicted of money laundering for their part in the scam.

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An investigation was launched in April 2018 by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), after reports following people purchasing corporate hospitality tickets at Twickenham Stadium from companies called Extreme Events Limited and Elite Direct Advertising between February 2017 and March 2018.

Nine people were convicted for their part in the schemeNine people were convicted for their part in the scheme
Nine people were convicted for their part in the scheme

They were later contacted by the companies to say that their booking was being cancelled. When the victims tried to contact the company to request a refund, they found that the phone lines no longer existed and received no response on email.

More than 100 reports of fraud were made.

And when police examined the bank accounts for the company, they found that the fraudsters had made more than £1.8 million through their crimes.

Nine people were arrested in total as a result of the investigation, with two separate trials taking place at Southwark Crown Court.

The second trial concluded on Friday (April 1).

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The other seven were Hasan Finik, 38, of Homerton High Street, Hackney, London; Jonathon Fraser, 38, of Kenmare Close, Uxbridge; Davin Pilgrim, 32, also of Kenmare Close, Ickenham, Uxbridge; Ione Fraser, 42, of Larch Avenue, East Acton, London; Anton Fraser, 43, also of Larch Avenue, East Acton, London; Anil Ardic, 38, of Grove Road, London and Pasqualina Kailou, 44, of Goshawk Gardens, Hayes, Middlesex

Detective Inspector Mhari Shurmer, from ERSOU’s regional fraud investigation unit, said: “A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigation will now be launched to recover this money and return it to its rightful owners, ensuring that no one is able to profit from their criminal activities.

“As we have our first summer without regulations on large events since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we know people will be keen to plan a summer of attending sports and music events, and of course there is also the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup this year, to name but a few.

“We would urge anyone who is buying tickets to an event to be cautious and know how to spot the signs that someone might be selling tickets illegitimately. Only ever buy tickets from a genuine promoter, agent, box office or reputable ticket site – don’t be tempted by people reselling tickets online or social media. We’d also recommend paying by credit card wherever possible as it offers you a better chance of recovering your money.”

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Angus Bujalski, Director of Legal and Governance from the Rugby Football Union (RFU), said: “The RFU takes the issue of unauthorised and fraudulent selling very seriously and is doing everything in its power to stop unofficial ticket sales which are against the interest of the game. The introduction of digital ticketing in the last year has made tracking suspicious ticket activity far easier to monitor and act upon.”

For more information on how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of ticket fraud, visit the Action Fraud website.