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Police arrest new suspects in 2011 student phishing scam

More alleged gang members picked up

Three men have been arrested in a follow-up operation linked to a phishing scam uncovered in 2011 that stole £1 million from UK students by impersonating the official loans company.

Two of the unnamed individuals were arrested in the Manchester area on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, while the third was accused of handling stolen goods, the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) said.

Although all have been bailed, police have placed restraints on bank accounts allegedly used for money laundering.

In December 2011, police arrested four men and two women in connection with the original investigation into a brazen con the previous August in which a bogus copy of the Student Loans Company website was used to trick new students into revealing bank account details.

The trick worked, resulting in thefts ranging from £1,000 to £5,000, police said at the time. The numbers affected were believed to be in excess of 1,300 people, enough to quickly alert Loans Company staff to what was going on.

Two men were jailed last July for their parts in the scam, Britons Damola Clement Olatunji and Amos Njoroge Mwangi for six and a half years and three years, three months, respectively.

"Mwangi and Olatunji were determined fraudsters who systematically targeted British students in order to steal large amounts of money," said Detective Inspector Jason Tunn of the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PceU) at the time.

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