Three men charged with fraud following suspected £36,000 Tyne Tunnel scam

Three men have been charged after staff at the Tyne Tunnels busted a suspected £36,000 card machine scam.

The Tyne Tunnel.
The Tyne Tunnel.

Mubarak Mubarak, 25, of Brent, London and Yacqub Ibrahim, 25, of Patterdale Road, Birmingham, were each charged with three counts of fraud by false representation while Tahir Mohammed, 25, of Brent, London, was charged with a single count of the same charge.

All three men were remanded in custody and will appear before Newcastle Crown Court on September 27.

At about 9.20pm on Thursday the vehicle, black BMW, was heading northbound through the Tyne Tunnels when the occupants asked the barrier supervisor to pay on card.

They were handed the card machine and it was passed around the car but it is suspected a refund card was used to take £36,000 from the tunnel's accounts.

After handing the machine back to staff, they were allowed to carry on with their journey after it appeared they had paid the toll.

But staff were concerned about the behaviour of the men in the vehicle and contacted their fraud team who then discovered a £36,000 payment.

They were able to cancel the payment and contact police but the same vehicle then turned around and drove through the tunnel in the opposite direction.

Officers were able to attend the tunnel, where the vehicle had been held at the barrier, and three men were arrested at the scene.

The three men arrested have been charged with a number of offences and appeared before magistrates in Newcastle on Saturday.

Detective Constable Thomas Stockport, of Northern CID, said: "We have had a lot of response to the incident last week and a lot of praise for staff at the Tyne Tunnels.

“It was a fantastic example of partners working together and a deterrent to anyone who attempts to commit these types of offences in our region.

“We have been carrying out enquiries since the call came in and last week three men were charged with a number of offences.

“They have also been charged with offences committed elsewhere in the country after being arrested by our officers so that is a positive result.”