Zimbabwean Asylum seeker jailed for £1 million scam

Dumisani Nyamyaro, aged 32, of Cypress Road, Kendray, is the fifth man to be jailed for his part in the massive scam which involved the theft of high-value cheques from banks including HBOS.

Timothy Capstick, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the case involved the interception of cheque books, cards and other bank documents – many of which went missing from the bank’s post room in Leeds. Over a 20-month period stolen cheques were deposited into bank accounts by the fraudsters who then took the cash out.

Mr Capstick said: "The face value of the cheques was well over £1m although not all the money was successfully withdrawn."

Nyamyaro, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, was caught during Operation Illmington, which saw 30 houses raided across the country. He was seen by police with two other conspirators at a bank in Manchester where a cheque for £136,000 was paid into one account. When his home in Kendray was searched, police found a stolen cheque jammed in a paper shredder.

Jailing Nyamyaro, who had a previous conviction for deception involving stolen credit cards, Judge Kerry McGill said: "This was by anyone’s standards a large scale and sophisticated conspiracy. This was not shoplifting to get food to survive, this was crime by an organised group."

Detective Chief Superintendent Howard Crowther, Head of West Yorkshire Police’s Crime Division, said: "The sentencing of Nyamyaro now sees five men behind bars for a total of 18 years under Operation Illmington, proving the commitment of the police and the criminal justice system to bring fraudsters to justice."