TWO men have been jailed for their parts in laundering £200,000 in criminal cash stolen from elderly people across the country.

After a three week trial the men were found guilty by unanimous jury of entering into and becoming concerned with the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property.

Syam Hussain, 24, of Scarle Road, Wembley, London, and Muhammad Talukdar, 22, of Stepney Way, London, were both sentenced to eight months imprisonment.

READ MORE: Courier fraud money laundering trial

This trial followed a large-scale Cumbria Police and West Mercia Police investigation into fraud offences that took place between April and June 2016 across several counties, and saw eight defendants convicted earlier this year. Five of those jailed received sentences for more than 20 years.

Victims were called on their landlines by individuals posing as police officers investigating fraud at a local banking branch and asked to hand over significant amounts of money.

Hussain and Talukdar's roles in the fraud saw them facilitate the laundering of money stolen from elderly victims in Worcestershire.

Talukdar did so by providing his bank account details and access to his online banking to other members of the gang, accepting cash in return for handing over control of his account. Meanwhile Hussain was complicit in providing bank account details to other members of the gang which were given to elderly victims under the guise of being a 'safe police account'.

More than 50 victims were targeted and of those 15 were convinced to hand over money.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said: "This type of telephone fraud is an ongoing challenge for West Mercia Police and falls under our Project Prospero initiative, specifically aimed at tackling telephone and courier fraud.

"We therefore welcome these sentences and hope they act as a deterrent to anyone considering handing over control of their bank accounts to facilitate money laundering.

"As highlighted by His Honour Judge Cartwright in his sentencing remarks, Hussain and Talukdar were blinded by greed, entering into an arrangement they thought would earn them quick and easy money with no regard for the consequences or their victims.

"This telephone fraud scam was ruthless and targeted some of the most vulnerable members of the community. Without individuals such as Hussain and Talukdar agreeing to such arrangements then these shameful crimes would not be able to take place at all.

"We continue to work hard to tackle serious and organised crime such as this and protect the public, particularly the most vulnerable, who often fall victim to this criminality."

READ MORE: Courier fraud: cash stolen from people in their 80s court told