Trio avoid jail term for part in scam

THREE men have avoided jail after admitting their parts in a £13,000 money laundering scam.

Hartlepool man Jawad Zamzam, 35, admitted applying for bank accounts with HSBC and NatWest with false details.

A court heard he applied for one account by saying he was a takeaway shop manager with a £25,000-a-year salary.

He applied for the other by purporting to be an assistant takeaway shop manager earning £1,500 a month.

Prosecuting at Durham Crown Court, Christopher Rose said this wasn’t true and Zamzam, of Sandringham Road, wasn’t working.

Choitham Channa, 50, of Everett Street, Hartlepool, and Mohammed Abdulkadir, formerly of Middle Street, Blackhall, and now of Heatherslaw Road, Newcastle, admitted using their own accounts to run the money through.

Mr Rose told the court: “The HSBC account involved a high number of amounts, including payments out to exchange bureaus in London and a jewellers, also in London.

“The NatWest account was subsequently applied for under the different name, Joel Darwich, as the defendant Zamzam had changed his name to this by deed poll.”

He added there was evidence of a number of transactions between Abdulkadir, 41, and Channa by cheque or payment or at casinos where casino chips were not gambled.

Zamzam admitted obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and fraud by false representation between August 2006 and May 2007.

Channa and Abdulkadir admitted money laundering between the same dates.

John Gillette, representing Zamzam, said there would be a problem with a curfew as Zamzam works three days a week as a delivery driver between 5pm to midnight.

Nicholas Cartmell, for Channa, said the court proceedings had been stressful for him and had taken a toll on his health.

He added Channa pleaded guilty to only one tenth of what he was originally charged with.

Shaun Routledge, for Abdulkadir, said his client, from Greece, was hoping to gain “indefinite leave to remain in the country and would like the opportunity to work, albeit part-time”.

Recorder Duncan Smith sentenced each of the men to 12 months community orders.

Zamzam and Abdulkadir must also carry out 200 hours unpaid work while Channa was given a six-month curfew from 9pm-6am due to ill health.