Rolex gang blew £90,000 after bank insider leaked customer details
17th February 2021

Rolex gang blew £90,000 on jewellery, luxury holidays, designer clothes and champagne in huge spending spree after bank insider leaked customer details

  • Bilal Abbas worked for Santander’s anti-fraud unit and stole confidential details
  • He then passed them on as part of a £90,000 racket, a court heard yesterday
  • The 14-month fraud was rumbled by a suspicious jewellery shop owner
  • Yesterday Abbas, 30, and his accomplices Umair Memon, 28, and Jordan Hamilton-Thomas, 32, were jailed for a total of six years and seven months

A bank worker supposed to be protecting customers from scams sold their account details to criminals who splashed out on Rolex watches, luxury holidays and jewellery.

Bilal Abbas, who worked for Santander’s anti-fraud unit, stole the confidential details and passed them on as part of a £90,000 racket, a court heard yesterday.

The 14-month fraud was rumbled by a suspicious jewellery shop owner after one of the gang bought three expensive items in quick succession.

Photographs recovered from one of the gang’s phones showed them enjoying holidays in the Spanish resort of Marbella, shopping at designer stores Versace and Dolce and Gabbana, flaunting wads of cash and even pouring Laurent Perrier pink champagne and vodka over Rolex watches.


Doing time: Memon (left), Jordan Hamilton-Thomas (right, with airport cocktails and champagne) and Bilal Abbas, who worked for Santander’s anti-fraud unit have all been jailed

Yesterday Abbas, 30, and his accomplices Umair Memon, 28, and Jordan Hamilton-Thomas, 32, were jailed for a total of six years and seven months at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to defraud.

The court heard Abbas started working for Santander in October 2010. On his CV, which he posted online, Abbas said he was a ‘fraud advisor’ and the ‘first point of contact for customers raising fraud on their accounts’.

He added: ‘Working in a bank requires trust, honesty and good mathematical skills, all of which are qualities I hold.’

In reality, the court heard, Abbas was stealing from the very people he was employed to protect. 

Nick Lane, prosecuting, said Abbas used ‘his position to obtain details of account holders and their card numbers, which he then provided to Memon’.

‘Memon used those details to purchase goods including luxury watches and a jet ski. He would collect them or get Hamilton-Thomas to.’

The court heard the men used the details of 21 customers and targeted 13 UK businesses. The scam was uncovered in April 2018 when a member of staff at David Summerfield jewellers, in Newcastle’s Metrocentre shopping centre, called police.

The jeweller became concerned after Hamilton-Thomas visited the store three days in a row to buy Rolex watches worth more than £14,000. When he turned up again, a police officer was waiting. Hamilton-Thomas pushed the officer over and fled but he and his accomplices were later tracked down.

Mr Lane said card holders whose details were stolen were reimbursed but left feeling distressed and anxious.

The jeweller became concerned after Hamilton-Thomas visited the store three days in a row to buy Rolex watches worth more than £14,000 (pictured)


The group flaunted wads of cash and even pouring Laurent Perrier pink champagne and vodka over Rolex watches

Abbas, of Keighley, West Yorkshire, was jailed for two years, Memon, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, was sentenced to two years and three months, and Hamilton-Thomas, of Leeds, was jailed for two years and two months. Memon also admitted dangerous driving and Hamilton-Thomas admitted assault with intent to resist arrest.

Recorder David Gordon told the trio they had caused considerable distress. He added: ‘This was a high-value enterprise, carried out methodically.’

After the case, Detective Constable Patrick Naughten, of Northumbria police, said the trio were ‘living the high life’.

He added: ‘There is a degree of sophistication to the scam but once we began to uncover the frauds it was clear that Abbas was leaking confidential information.’

A spokesman for Santander said it was ‘pleased to see the perpetrators brought to justice’.

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