Indian origin official jailed for fraud in UK
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 22:35
London: An Indian-origin government employee in UK was on Tuesday jailed for three years and nine months for her key role in a sophisticated multi-million pounds property fraud and money laundering scam.

Official sources said Surjeet Chana, 64, who worked at Land Registry, was corrupted by the gang comprising seven people who, together, were jailed at the Southward Crown Court for a total of 24 and a half years following an investigation by Scotland Yard.

The gang was initially targeted by the police for large-scale supply of cocaine.

But further investigation revealed that they were involved in a highly organised and high value fraud, the sources said.

Police investigation revealed that the large quantities of cocaine dealt by the gang were used to finance various fraudulent property deals, laundering millions of pounds worth of criminal cash.

As part of their modus operandi, the gang would identify a property whose owner was deceased or in a nursing home, or a derelict property.

They would board it up, leaving a sign outside bearing a mobile telephone for a security company.

Once satisfied that there had been no enquiries from genuine owners they progressed to obtaining copies of the signatures on the original title deeds, the source said.

Chana, who worked in the Land Registry, provided the conspirators with access to documents and in particular the signatures which they needed to sell the properties.

A total of 38,000 pounds cash was recovered from her loft area.

Other gang members carried out other tasks as part of the scam that involved nine properties, most of were sold by the fraudsters, although on occasion the sale had to be aborted because of practical difficulties.

The known value of the property fraud is 3,800,000 pounds, the police said.


First Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2012, 22:35

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