Monday, 17 August 2009

£92,000 claimed in benefit cheat's 800 offences

SWANSEA Council say benefit cheats have nowhere to hide.

Working with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and South Wales Police the council's fraud team has ended a massive benefit fraud.

Mohammad Rashid was jailed for 18 months after draudulently claiming more than £92,000 in benefit on behalf of his mother, Mrs Tasbir Latif. This included £11,010 from Swansea Council for housing and more than £80,000 from the DWP in income support, retirement pension, pension credit and carer's allowance - despite the fact that she was living thousands of miles away in Bangladesh.

The sentencing follows a guilty plea by the 49-year-old, of Gwydr Crescent, Uplands, last month where he admitted five specimen charges and asked for over 800 other similar offences to be taken into account.

Investigators took action following an anonymous allegation from a member of the public. Investigations showed that Mrs Latif would spend up to 11 months at a time living with relatives in Bangladesh, whilst Rashid continued to receive her benefits in the UK.

Tal Davies, Investigations Manager for Swansea Council, said: "This case is a credit to the teamwork, professionalism and dedication of investigators from Swansea Council and the Department of Work and Pensions in conjunction with cooperation from South Wales Police.

"Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime. It is stealing from all those people who pay their taxes to help provide important public services.

"Our message is that we will do all we can to track down benefit cheats and bring them to justice no matter how secretive the fraud."

If you think someone is getting benefit that they are not entitled to, tell Swansea Council now by calling the confidential hotline on 0800 328 6340 or going online at


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