Trio in court for meat fraud scam

Zulfiqar Alam.

Zulfiqar Alam.

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Two men have been jailed for their involvement in a conspiracy to rip off meat, poultry and fish wholesalers across the country.

The conspiracy centred on legitimate businesses which were used to cover the criminal activities of three men between September 2006 and September 2009.

More than £200,000 worth of food and machinery were obtained by the men pretending to be from one of the companies. They would buy the food and equipment by phone and fax forged bank deposit slips which stated that cash deposits had been paid into the supplier’s account.

However, the trio would only pay by cheque which subsequently bounced but the ordered goods had already been released cheating decent companies of their goods and payment.

Meat, poultry and fish would then be transported around the country in non-refrigerated vans and subsequently sold onto unsuspecting take-aways and restaurants across West Yorkshire. On some occasions the meat would be passed off as Halal.

Yakub Moosa Yusuf, 57, of Worley Drive, Bradford, and Zulfiqar Alam have been jailed for 18 months and three years respectively. A third man, Abdul Shakoor Yaqoob, 35, of Broomer Street, Ravensthorpe, got a 12 month community order and 200 hours unpaid work.

The men were found guilty by trial at Leeds Crown Court.

PC Liz Pharaoh said: “My sympathies lie with the many companies who have lost a great deal of money over the years and as a result the jobs of honest hard working people have been lost or put in jeopardy in these difficult times. I would like to thank all the companies and individuals involved for their patience and understanding throughout this long and complex investigation.

“Yusuf and Alam were the orchestrators of this conspiracy and both distanced themselves from these offences ordering Yaqoob and unsuspecting individuals to act for them.”