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May 2020

REPORT RELATING TO PLANT FRAUD AND THEFT REPORTED TO NAVCIS

REPORT RELATING TO PLANT FRAUD AND THEFT REPORTED TO NAVCISIn April of this year NaVCIS, received communication from the Construction Plant Hire Association, (CPA) describing a series of offences of fraud and theft of plant reported by his members that had occurred in both 2019 and 2020.

The MO for these offences was impersonation of a legitimate company to hire plant machinery, delivery was being arranged to a location that didn’t arouse suspicion and the equipment was then moved on by the suspects. When the hire period is concluded the machinery in not returned and untraceable.

NaVCIS received information relating to eight instances of either attempted or successful fraudulent hiring of plant and its subsequent theft.

A number of mobile phone numbers and one email address were identified either from the initial information provided to NaVCIS or from related enquiries. It was discovered that three significant investigations were ongoing within Thames Valley, The Metropolitan Police Service and Surrey:-

Surrey Police are investigating a number of linked offences with the same MO as those reported to NaVCIS, enquiries have linked these to other offences in Essex and Metropolitan Police Areas, where the same vehicle has also been linked. To date one suspect has been arrested by Surrey and enquiries are ongoing.

The Metropolitan Police are investigating 3 separate incidents of equipment being fraudulently hired and stolen. One male has been arrested and one other has been identified and is currently circulated as wanted for these offences.

Thames Valley Police also have two suspects under investigation following a joint Operation between NaVCIS and Thames Valley, where two males were arrested taking collection of fraudulently hired plant in the Amersham area, one of these males is now in prison for unrelated offences, both remain under investigation for this offence.

NaVCIS submitted further intelligence on three enhanced intelligence reports that have been shared with the following forces, Thames Valley, Warwickshire, Surrey, Sussex, Lancashire and the Metropolitan Police’s force intelligence bureaus or equivalent. We have also spoken to Action Fraud who were fully aware of this series and cross referred investigations between forces to link any known offenders and offences.

Whilst there might be perception amongst Plant Hire companies that no action is being taken into these types of offences, it is clear that all these enquiries are live and being investigated by Police Forces, we would urge any members to continue to report any Thefts via 101 or the local online force reporting systems and any Fraud or attempted fraud via the Action Fraud portal https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or on the phone to 0300 123 2040.