- Shabaaz Ahmed amassed casino debts after his asylum application was refused
- He worked for Nigerian scammers, using stolen cards to fund criminal accounts
- Ahmed admitted conspiracy to defraud at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court
- He was jailed for three years and will face deportation after serving his sentence
An illegal immigrant who took part in a sophisticated credit card fraud to ease his £1.5million gambling losses will be deported to Pakistan after serving three years in jail.
Shabaaz Ahmed, 41, amassed eye-watering debts at the Grosvenor Casino after his asylum application was refused.
Nigerian scammers supplied Ahmed with fraudulently obtained credit cards and ordered him to deposit funds in gang-controlled accounts or buy goods, gold or redeemable items such as gift vouchers.
Ahmed admitted using one of the credit cards to purchase a large quantity of cigarettes and was paid £200 for his participation in the scam.
Shabaaz Ahmed, 41, amassed eye-watering debts at the Grosvenor Casino after his asylum application was refused, Southwark Crown Court (pictured) heard
The card was later found to have spent £9,000 although others were responsible for a portion of that sum.
Ahmed was first arrested in June 2016 but two days later, racked up another £34,000 worth of fraudulent purchases.
Prosecutor Jeremy Rosenberg told the court Ahmed was ‘receiving approximately five fraudulent bank cards a week’ which were then ‘used through a network of individuals’.
He said the fraudster has no immigration status in the UK and has already been served with a deportation notice ordering his return to Pakistan.
‘Mr Ahmed has a clear and expansive gambling habit and the Crown are aware that he has some losses in the region of approximately £1.5million.
‘The Crown are aware that most, if not all, of his profits have gone into the casino.’
Ahmed and a second man, Manikkam Sivakumaran, 42, admitted conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith told Ahmed: ‘You have no right to be in this country.
‘Your application for asylum was refused a long time ago.
‘But you remained here and you became addicted to gambling and, it seems, also addicted to alcohol and to pay your debts you took to fraud.
‘You yourself were recruited to carry out this sophisticated credit card fraud and you in turn recruited at least three others.’
He added: ‘But when police released you on bail, within a day or two you were doing exactly the same thing to the tune of £34,000.’
To Sivakumaran, the judge said: ‘You do have positive good character as I have seen from the references but drink, and I suspect a bit of greed, led you to be tempted to commit fraud.’
Ahmed, of no fixed address, admitted conspiracy to defraud and two counts of fraud.
He was jailed for three years and will face deportation after serving his sentence.
Sivakumaran, of Merton, southwest London, admitted conspiracy to defraud.
He was handed a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement addressing alcohol issues and ordered to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work with 12 months.