FOUR men have been ordered to pay back cash which they stole from elderly and vulnerable residents across Worcestershire.
Londoners Mohammed Hadi, aged 34, of Uamvar Street, Rizwan Uddin, 22, of Collingwood Street and Oldham residents Idris Ali, 24, of Belmont Street and John Atkins, 68, of Hawksley Street were given Confiscation Orders at Worcester Crown Court on January 29.
The fraud offences took place between April and June 2016 across the force areas of Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Cumbria, West Midlands, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Thames Valley.
The court heard how 50 victims, ranging from 49 to 96-years-old, were called on their landline telephone numbers and asked to hand over money.
It was a persuasive scam that saw the offenders purporting to be police officers investigating a fraud at a local banking branch.
Of the 50 victims targeted, 15 were persuaded to hand over money, with a total of over £200,000 being stolen.
The Judge ordered that the confiscated funds should be paid back to the victims, as partial compensation for the losses they suffered.
Eight other men involved were sentenced on 11 February 2019 to more than 21 years for their roles in the crimes, which formed part of Operation Hyperion.
Detective Inspector Emma Wright said: “This shows that West Mercia Police will pursue offenders who directly target the elderly and vulnerable, including stripping them of any assets they have gained through crime.
“I hope this will deter other criminals who may be involved in these despicable offences.”