Ukrainian fruit pickers nabbed for identity theft

I'm indebted to the Shropshire Star for reporting on the case of a clutch of Ukrainian fruit pickers in Telford who are reported to have scooped up in a million pound identity theft investigation.

The six Ukrainians who have been charged, are not said to have made a massive amount from their activities, as most of the money was made by their Eastern Bloc masters.

What's interesting about the case, which is ongoing at Winchester Crown Court, is that the police say it's just the tip of the iceberg and part of a massive fraud master-minded by the Russian Mafia.

These Russian Mafia chaps get everywhere. I remember being a bar in Warsaw (don't ask) during the Euro footy championships in the late 1990s and popping to the bar in the hotel where we staying, only for a slumped figure to tell me the score of the Euro match that Russia were playing that evening.

Before the match had kicked off.

I paid several visits to that bar during the week, as said gent was spot on with his correct score predictions.

He was a Russian Mafia bigwig, the barman told me. I made around £300.00 rom his `predictions' which came from his Asian betting contacts. Belated thanks to William Hill telebetting for this by the way.

I bought him a bottle of 25-year-old Glenfiddich for his assistance.

What a nice man....