Hackney hotel tricked into handing over £80k worth of belongings to fraudster

Pic: The Metropolitan Police

An unnamed Hackney hotel was tricked into handing over £80,000 of guests’ property to a “known fraudster”, Wood Green County Crown Court heard yesterday. 

Anisha Abeedah Anwar, 35, of Harrow Road, Wanstead, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation yesterday and waits to be sentenced on January 13. She was arrested and charged on November 11.

Anwar, who “has a history of committing fraud” according to Detective Sergeant Ian Cleghorn of the Central East BCU called the hotel multiple times on October 8 claiming to be a guest. 

On the phone, Anwar told the hotel that she was experiencing a family crisis and needed to leave urgently. She convinced the staff to pack ‘her’ belongings and send them in a minicab to Maryland railway station in Newham, where they were picked up by an associate. 

The contents of the luggage included a number of luxury brand items and was reported stolen by the guests the following morning. The value of the items was estimated to be over £80,000. 

Police found Anwar three days later by tracing the cab and tracking the phone used to commit the crime to her home address. The driver of the cab told the police where he dropped off the stolen goods and gave a description of Anwar’s associate, who is yet to be identified. 

Cleghorn praised the work of his team throughout the investigation: “The efforts taken to trace the cab and track the mobile show that we will use every method and technology available to us.”

The Metropolitan Police told Eastlondonlines that they were not aware of any consequences faced by hotel staff, as they “had been duped rather than being involved in any criminality themselves”. 

Efforts to find Anwar’s associate are still ongoing.

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