A fraudster from Sydenham who posed as a police officer to steal thousands of pounds from elderly and terminally ill people has been jailed. 

Kawsar Ahmed, 25, from the Sydenham Hill Estate, was part of a group of six men who targeted thousands of potential victims across the country by telephone. 

They pretended to be police officers and relayed a convincing tale of a fraud investigation which had identified counterfeit currency being transferred into the victim’s bank accounts. 

They would then encourage the victim to remove thousands of pounds from their accounts immediately and hand it over to a “courier” sent by “the police”. 

They conned at least 60 vulnerable victims out of more than £290,000 between 2019 and 2021. 

Most of the victims were over the age of 75, and two were aged 99. 

Some of them were terminally ill, recently widowed or suffered dementia and other age related issues. 

A number of the victims have been unable to recoup their losses. 

News Shopper: Kawsar AhmedKawsar Ahmed (Image: CPS)

Between January and April 2021 the group made 7,000 calls to potential victims.   

On December 19, 2023, Ahmed was sentenced to four years imprisonment for fraud offences. 

This wasn’t the first time Ahmed was jailed for fraud related offences.  

In December 2017 he was given a 16-month sentence for his involvement in a group which tricked a 78-year-old woman into handing over £250, her bank cards and a passport. 

News Shopper: Kawsar Ahmed pictured in 2017 when at age 19 he was jailed for defrauding an elderly womanKawsar Ahmed pictured in 2017 when at age 19 he was jailed for defrauding an elderly woman (Image: CPS)This year he was also jailed for a separate offence of possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs, for which he received a consecutive two years and six months imprisonment. 

Mohammed Zaman Ahmed, 26, of Quex Road in Kilburn, was sentenced to three years and eight months for fraud alongside Ahmed. 

The other members of the group, Mohammed Rahman, Muhammed Maarjan, Muhammed Hussain and Shoriful Islam, were sentenced to a total of more than 20 years in prison in May 2022. 

News Shopper: Mohammed Zaman AhmedMohammed Zaman Ahmed (Image: CPS)The investigation into the fraud group covered 20 police forces across the country. 

It culminated in a warrant being executed on Theberton Street in Islington in April 2021. 

When members of the gang tried to escape through an upstairs window, officers gave chase across the rooftops before catching and arresting them. 

Subsequent searches found cash, expensive designer clothing, Rolex watches, a Mercedes Benz and an Audi, which were all seized by officers. 

Detective Inspector Matt Phillips, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “We’re pleased that these men have now been sentenced for the misery they caused so many vulnerable and elderly people.” 

Kevin Hansford, Unit Head Prosecutor for the CPS' Serious Economic Organised and International Directorate, said: “These two fraudsters presented themselves in a convincing way to victims, securing the trust of hundreds of elderly people through their lies. 

“The sole purpose of this criminal activity was to enrich themselves, at the expense of vulnerable people who badly needed their hard-earned savings and pension income. 

“I would like to thank the many victims who supported this prosecution and the hard-working police officers who enabled us to prove the case against this gang’s callous criminal enterprise.” 

Police have warned that your bank or police will never call you to verify personal banking details. They will also never offer to pick up your money or debit or credit card by courier. 

If you need to call your bank back to check, only do so after waiting at least five minutes. 

Even though you have hung up, the fraudsters may stay on the line to pretend to be your bank.