Operation Neon

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Operation Neon

Operation Neon – The Travel Industry and the Metropolitan Police working together.

PROFiT successfully worked with the Metropolitan Police to convict four serial fraudsters in 2008. Christakis Philippou, Timothy Entwistle, Peter Kemp and Evangelia Liogka all received substantial prison sentences for their roles in the running of 5 businesses between 2004 and 2006.

The companies named in this case were:

– Ciao Travel trading under the name Sun [2004] – 2035 victims, losses £1.8 million
– Onshine trading under the name Sunsplash [2005] – losses £1.8 million
– Grayrise Associates trading under the name Elite Travel [2005] – losses £1.7 million
– Orange Sun Ltd trading under the names holidays4under200pound.com [2006] – losses £620,000
– Sun Orient trading under the name sunmed-resorts.com [2006] – no losses as police action taken

Passing sentence Judge Andrew Goymer said all four had taken part in “what I can only describe as a cynical and greedy fraud”.

“These offences took place on such a scale and for such a length of time, they are too serious to be dealt with by anything other than substantial prison sentences,” he added.

As part of this group, ABTA, the CAA and Teletext have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and have been instrumental in bringing this case to court. All parties assisted the Police by providing both manpower and funding in order to gather evidence in support of this case.

Mike Monk, ABTA’s Head of Financial Services said: “Together with the CAA and Teletext we have worked hard to bring these perpetrators to book, and to make our organisations as fraud proof as possible. Customers who booked with these companies were victims of criminal fraud. Our role as the leading travel association is to assist the police in identifying fraud and in prosecuting the perpetrators.

Barry Gooch, Head of Compliance Teletext said: “Tackling and preventing fraudulent activity is of the utmost importance to Teletext and we are delighted that one of the most active gangs of fraudsters within the travel industry has now been convicted.   We hope this will be a warning to others who are intent on targeting our industry that we will not tolerate such activities.

Operation Neon reports:

BBC

TTG

Daily Record

Daily Mail