Published On: Thu, Oct 9th, 2014 on 3:12 pm

Ringleaders of one of the UK’s largest cheque fraud gangs jailed

Hove Nyongo Mugshots

(l-r) Onais Hove, Charles Nyongo

Two ringleaders of one of the UK’s largest ever cheque fraud gangs have been sent to prison for a total of 18 years.

Onais Hove, 43 of Barnsley, and Charles Nyongo, 43 of Leeds, were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday for leading an organised criminal gang responsible for stealing and fraudulently manufacturing bank cheques.

It followed a nationwide police operation by the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) during which £6.5 million worth of stolen and fake cheques were seized.

Originating in Scotland, the group’s criminality spread throughout the country to London and many of the victims included hospices, schools and the elderly.

The investigation initially began in April 2012 and officers from eight police forces across the country carried out a number of coordinated raids.

During the property searches, officers seized almost 3,000 stolen or fake cheques, the most ever recorded by the banking industry, along with the specialist ink and paper used in their manufacture.

Police also uncovered computers with cheque templates and ready-made identity kits for ‘mules’ to open false bank accounts. The recovered cheques had a total value of over £6.5 million.

The gang intercepted completed cheques in the post, which they then altered, or photographed blank ones using smartphones to capture the legitimate details which they used to create fake cheques.

Both Hove and Nyongo received sentences of nine years each.

DCI Perry Stokes, head of the DCPCU, said: “As the ringleaders, Hove and Nyongo were ruthlessly indiscriminate in selecting their victims. Their knowledge of the bank cheque system was considerable, and our investigation revealed a series of fraud factories across the country.

“We are delighted to have brought these criminals to justice and to have removed the threat they posed to British banks and their customers.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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