Fraudsters were able to use credit card details that they stole in order to purchase some expensive high end watches and jewellery items from top auction houses including Christie’s and Bonhams. The credit card details were stolen from people that live in the US and Canada and were used by a four member gang to register accounts as telephone bidders.
It was claimed in court that two of the members Farouk Dougui and Simohamed Rahmoun would bid on the expensive items that they knew they could easily resell for cash value. The third member of the gang Jabey Bathurst would then go to the auction houses to collect the items that were purchased and fourth member Barbara Gooseens who runs a jewellery shop provided her knowledge of the industry.
The four members of the gang appeared in court on fraud charges this past week in Iselworth. Prosecutor Robin Shellard told the court that the fraud was actually very easy since it only involved using stolen credit card details which were easy enough for the crooks to obtain.
He added that the victims in the case are some of the best auction houses in UK and some smaller jewellery shops that purchased the items that were bought originally with stolen credit. He went on to say that the defendants did not really care who they targeted so long as they were able to quickly resell items of high value for quick cash.
Shellard also told the West London court that to date not one item of jewellery that was bought with the stolen credit has been found and whatever ended up happening to the jewels and the watches is a mystery. The four members of the gang all deny the charge of conspiracy to defraud auction houses and jewellery shops.