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Card cloning brothers jailed

15 July 2009  |  8883 views  |  0 credit card

Three London-based brothers have been jailed for running a counterfeit credit and debit card factory that netted them over £600,000.

The brothers, Ahmed, Mahmoud and Mohammed Charmaga, all pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a charge of conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court following an investigation by the Met and City police's Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit.

The men were arrested after police raided a room in an office space in Brent last November, seizing a laptop computer with a number of credit and debit card details saved on it.

They also recovered a card reader writer, skimmers, false ATM fronts and keypads, an embossing press and about 600 fake credit cards and white plastic cards with magnetic strips ready to be used as counterfeits.

As police were searching the premises, Mahmoud Charmaga entered the building. He was arrested for conspiracy to defraud and a search of his home address followed the same day. Another laptop and some paper documents containing counterfeit card details were found at the property in Mahmoud's brother, Mohammed's bedroom.

Meanwhile, the office space was discovered to have been rented by the third brother, Ahmed, under the alias Mr Ahmed Ali. At the time of the investigation Ahmed was serving a two year prison sentence in the Isle of White following a British Transport Police arrest for a similar offence in 2007.

In total, details for 3419 cards were found on laptops and documents, which police say could have potentially resulted in the loss of £2 million.

The counterfeit cards were used to buy designer clothing and expensive aftershave, withdraw large amounts of cash from ATM's in this country and abroad and used in 24-hour self-service petrol stations.

Ahmed Charmaga has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison, to run consecutively to the two year sentence he is serving in the Isle of White. Mahmoud Charmaga was sentenced to five years in prison and Mohammed Charmaga received two years and eight months.

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