VICTIMS were scammed out of thousands by fraudsters a jury heard on the opening day of a new trial.

Worcester Crown Court was told that Vivian Brauner, Paulo Custodio, Claudio Megi, Muhammad Talukdar, Muhammed Rizwan Uddin and Syam Hussain were on trial for their alleged part in money laundering the proceeds from the fraud, which involved victims across the country.

Brauner, 40, of Cumrae Street, Cardiff, Custodio, 22, of Bedford House, Clapham North, and Megi, 24, of Green Farm Hostel, Clos Tan Y Ffarm, Cardiff, are charged with conspiracy to convert criminal property between April 24 and July 31, 2016.

Talukdar, 22, of Stepney Way, London, Uddin, 21, of Bullen House, Collingworth Street, London, and Hussain, 24, of Scarle Road, Wembley, are all charged with arrangement concerning criminal property.

At the opening of the trial yesterday afternoon, the jury of seven women and five men were sworn in to hear the case which His Honour Judge Nicolas Cartwright told them is expected to last a total of four weeks.

Graham Huston QC, opening the prosecution case, explained that many involved in the wider case had already pleaded guilty to their part, and this trial was focused on the money laundering.

Mr Huston told the jury there were dozens of victims, with the fraudsters cold calling the victims and pretending to be police officers from Scotland Yard.

Mr Huston said victims were told by the fraudsters their card had been cloned and staff at bank branches were behind the cloning.

“The victim would be told he/she should help police,” Mr Huston said.

“He/she would be directed to go to their bank and withdraw cash. The reason given was the police need to check the withdrawn cash to see if it was counterfeit notes.

“Some victims left withdrawn cash at locations, some victims were told to directly transfer money to another account.

“Many of the victims targeted were elderly.

“£200,000 was obtained.”

Mr Huston then outlined details of some of what had happened to some of the victims.

In one, he said, an Evesham man withdrew thousands, in cash and in Euros, which on four occasions was collected by a courier, pretending to be from the police.

Mr Huston was set to resume his opening today.

The trial continues.

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