CCTV footage of a gang of travelling fraudsters who target hotel business conferences was released by police yesterday.

The crooks, believed to be from the West Midlands, have been prowling corporate seminar rooms in the Edinburgh area over the past year.

Dozens of credit cards, driving licences and passports have been stolen from hotels across the Scottish capital by the men, who wear smart suits to blend in.

The team use the stolen identification at various banks, building societies and post offices, and have stolen tens of thousands of pounds from their victims' accounts.

Lothian and Borders Police issued CCTV footage of seven men suspected of involvement.

Detectives believe the gang come from the West Midlands as two men from Coventry have already been arrested.

"The people who carry o ut these crimes are smartly dressed in business suits and look entirely presentable," said Det Con Andy Higgins, of Lothian and Borders Police.

"They blend in at the seminars or offices and don't look out of place, so no one notices what they are up to.

"When the victims go to lunch they leave their jackets or briefcases behind, thinking they will be safe. But these teams go in and help themselves to credit cards, bank cards, driving licences, wallets and various forms of identification.

"Money is then withdrawn very quickly from the victims' accounts and, before they realise what has happened, a lot of money has gone."

In March, one of the gang, Lee Wilson (30) from Linnet Close, Coventry, was jailed for a year at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for fraud.