ABTA head of finance Mike Monk said he has waited 10 years to bring the fraud gang to justice.

Speaking as the three were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud thousands of holidaymakers at Southwark Crown Court this week, Monk said he had worked hard with the police to help secure a conviction. He said he was expecting them to be given custodial sentences.

Monk said: “I noticed 10 years ago that there was a pattern emerging with some of the failures I was seeing. I started plotting them and it became obvious they were connected.

“Before that, people were viewing failures on a case-by-case basis but they were not joining up the dots.”

While Monk said the police were initially reluctant to investigate due to resources, they quickly began amassing evidence when they launched the investigation about two years ago.

He added: “When the police started digging, they realised this was no small matter and they looked at about 58 companies these guys were responsible for.”

Monk said the case should serve as a warning to any other fraudsters, adding: “For many members this will be the first time they realise just how much we’ve been doing about fraud.

“I hope this sends out a message to people that we will keep pursuing those who commit fraud until they are convicted.”