POLICE have asked for a letter highlighting the dangers of ‘money mules’ to be issued to the parents or guardians of every secondary school pupil in East Renfrewshire.

Concerns have been growing over a national trend which has seen schoolkids being asked to keep cash in their bank accounts for criminals.

Organised crime groups have recruited youngsters via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Officers from the Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit arrested and charged almost 30 people in connection with money laundering offences in a week-long operation last month.

Police have now asked Education Scotland to help make sure pupils across East Renfrewshire are aware that acting as a money mule is a criminal offence which can lead to a long spell behind bars.

Detective Inspector Graeme Everest said: “We are regularly receiving information on individuals who are allowing their accounts to be used for this type of criminal activity.

“People are enticed in with the belief it’s quick, easy money and assured nothing will happen to them. If you do enter into this agreement, you are breaking the law. It is a criminal offence and the effect on your life can be huge.

“The fraudsters involved in orchestrating mule accounts are often from organised crime groups and any involvement with them can be dangerous.”

Money mules are approached by criminals who ask them to use their account to hold cash obtained through criminal activity, usually fraud.

The individual is then instructed to cover up the removal of large amounts of money through a variety of ways, such as buying foreign currency, expensive jewellery or high-value electrical items.

Anyone who has been approached to be involved in a money mule scheme is urged to contact the police on 101.

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