Nine convicted as police reveal gang behind international rugby ticket fraud netted £1.8m

Twickenham Credit: PA Wire

A gang behind a massive ticket fraud netted more than £1.8m by selling fake tickets to international rugby matches.

Nine people have now been convicted for their parts in the scam.

Police received more than 100 reports of fraud after people purchased corporate hospitality tickets at Twickenham Stadium from companies called Extreme Events Limited and Elite Direct Advertising between February 2017 and March 2018 .

The companies later told people their booking had been cancelled - but when victims asked for a refund they found the phone lines no longer existed and they received no response on email .

When police examined bank accounts, they found that the fraudsters had made more than £1.8m.

The main players in the fraud were Jermaine Daley, 40, of Victoria Street, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and Andy Mensah, 33, of Vermont Road, Wandsworth, London, said the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.

They have both been found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering at Southwark Crown Court .

Southwark Crown Court Credit: PA Wire

Seven other people have been convicted of money laundering. They are:

  • Hasan Finik, 38, of Homerton High Street, Hackney, London

  • Jonathon Fraser, 38, of Kenmare Close, Uxbridge

  • Davin Pilgrim, 32, also of Kenmare Close, Ickenham, Uxbridge

  • Ione Fraser, 42, of Larch Avenue, East Acton, London

  • Anton Fraser, 43, also of Larch Avenue, East Acton, London

  • Anil Ardic, 38, of Grove Road, London

  • Pasqualina Kailou, 44, of Goshawk Gardens, Hayes, Middlesex

Det Insp Mhari Shurmer, from ERSOU’s regional fraud investigation unit, said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation into a fraud and money laundering ring who conned hard-working people out of their money for international rugby tickets which quite simply didn’t exist.

“As we have our first summer without regulations on large events since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we know people will be keen to plan a summer of attending sports and music events.

“We would urge anyone who is buying tickets to an event to be cautious and know how to spot the signs that someone might be selling tickets illegitimately."

Angus Bujalski, from the Rugby Football Union, said: “The RFU takes the issue of unauthorised and fraudulent selling very seriously and is doing everything in its power to stop unofficial ticket sales which are against the interest of the game.

“All money that the RFU raises is reinvested into community and professional rugby and this should be protected rather than providing an illegal income for those who are selling fraudulent tickets or trading tickets unlawfully at inflated prices.”