January 27, 2017

A bank employee who defrauded two bank customers whom she regularly served has been given a suspended sentence.

Harjeet Dasila, who worked as a personal banker at a branch of Santander in West Ealing, made payments from the accounts of two customers she knew and served regularly, transferring funds to her mother’s bank account.

She obtained £210,000 from the transfers using it for gambling and to pay household bills.

Suspicious activity was flagged by the banks following the frauds, which took place between 2014 and 2015, and Dasila was investigated. She pleaded guilty to abuse of a position of trust at an earlier hearing.

The fraud was investigated by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a police unit sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from Financial Fraud Action UK Established in April 2002, the DCPCU has since achieved an estimated £481 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.

Both victims received full refunds.

Dasila was given a two-year suspended sentence and a curfew order at Southwark Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, January 26, 2017).

Det Con Jason Bradley-Holden, who investigated the case for the DCPCU, said:

“Harjeet Dasila abused the trust of her employer to commit these crimes. This sentence should send a strong message to any would-be fraudster that fraud does not pay and you will be brought to justice.”

A Santander spokesperson said:

“Santander takes fraud extremely seriously. Harjeet Dasila was suspended as soon as fraudulent activity was identified, and we co-operated fully with the authorities to ensure justice was served. Both customers were refunded in full.”

Notes to editors:

Sentences received:

Harjeet Dasila, DOB 19/07/77 of Commonwealth Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex: Two years imprisonment suspended for two years; to be placed on a curfew between 8pm and 7am (electronic monitored – tag) for eight months; to undertake a rehabilitation program of 50 days

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique pro-active police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between Financial Fraud Action UK, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an on-going brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) is responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud in the UK payments industry. Its membership includes banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card payment acquirers in the UK. It provides a forum for members to work together on non-competitive issues relating to financial fraud. Its primary function is to facilitate collaborative activity between industry participants and with other partners.

Financial Fraud Action UK works in close partnership with The UK Cards Association on industry initiatives to prevent fraud on credit and debit cards, and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company on credit clearing and cheque fraud.