Former terrorist sympathiser arrested for £1m eBay fraud
A man has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a £1m-plus fraud on eBay to fund terrorism.
Hassan Butt, 35, from Manchester, is a former spokesman for the extremist group, al-Muhajiroun, and claimed to be an al-Qaida insider – something he later denied following attacks on the capital.
He claims to have sent scores of Brits to terrorist training camps, including Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader of the 7th July 2005 tube bombings, and in the past has said he would be proud to be a suicide bomber.
He renounced Islamic extremism after the 7/7 bombings, but admitted in court four years later he was a ‘professional liar’ who told ‘the media [what they] wanted to hear’.
After the attacks in London, Butt said he had seen the error of his ways and publicly spoke out against extremism.
However, in September last year Butt was accused of conning hundreds of customers by failing to deliver orders for iPhones, iPads and games consoles on the online auction site, eBay.
He was subsequently arrested in Manchester in relation to a company called Mi Genie, which ‘sold’ electronic goods on eBay. A host of angry customers had complained they did not receive goods they had paid for and police were contacted leading to the company’s eBay account shutting down.
Another man, believed to be Butt’s business partner, was also arrested on the same day in nearby Bury, Lancashire.
Both men were bailed last week.
A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “Two men arrested on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 by officers from the Metropolitan police’s counter terrorism command (SO15), supported by colleagues from Greater Manchester police, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud appeared on police bail on 18th November and were further arrested on fraud offences.”
An eBay spokesman said: “No customer was left out of pocket. We refunded every customer in full at the time of the event. We have dedicated in-house detection teams and alert systems in place to identify suspicious behaviour very quickly.
“Our teams share information with law enforcement agencies around the world to keep our marketplace safe for customers.”