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Preston men jailed for multi-millon pound carbon credit fraud

Posted on - 26th September, 2014 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Fulwood, Plungington, Preston News
Carbon credits are traded between countries to offset carbon emissions

Carbon credits are traded between countries to offset carbon emissions Pic: Jamie Mellor

Three Preston men who were part of an international multi million carbon credit fraud have been jailed.

Ruman Patel, Hanif Patel and Mohammed Hanif Patel attempted to steal half a million carbon credits from the Czech Republic.

This was done via a cyber attack in January 2011 and the credits would have sold for 7 million Euros.

Two businesses in Poland were set up as a front for the scam.

Ruman Patel, 32, of Brook Street, Plungington, set up Segel Sp Zoo – a front company.

A second front firm Huntingdon Sp Zoo was set up by Hanif Patel, 53, of Fulwood Hall Lane, and Mohammed Hanif Patel, 52, of St Thomas’ Road.

After setting up the companies the group planned to hack into the Czech Republic registry.

Once into the registry, this would provide them with the administrative rights to transfer the carbon credits – they could then be moved on to a legitimate dealer before the loss was even recognised.

The attack was also helped by the making a hoax bomb call which caused the offices to be evacuated on the day of the attack.

Security forces in China, Hong Kong, India and Dubai were involved in catching the three Preston men plus a fourth man Ayyub Ibrahim from Dewsbury in Yorkshire.

National Crime Agency branch commander Ian Betts said: “This criminal investigation concerned a ‘virtual’ commodity which can be traded electronically, in large numbers and at great speed across international borders.

“Let me be clear this is not a victimless crime – it hits the pockets of every taxpayer in the UK. Officers in the National Crime Agency will work with their partners both here and internationally to ensure criminals realise international borders will not protect their illegal activity from law enforcement and they will be brought before the courts.”

No credits or funds have yet been recovered.

Ruman Patel pleaded guilty to encouraging/assisting in the commission of an indictable offence namely handling stolen goods, fraud and/or money laundering. He was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison.

Hanif Patel was found guilty of encouraging/assisting in the commission of an indictable offence namely handling stolen goods, fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Mohammed Hanif Patel pleaded guilty to encouraging/assisting in the commission of an indictable offence namely handling stolen goods, fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to 3 years and six months.

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