A young Nigerian couple and two others have been sentenced by a Manchester Crown Court for defrauding victims out of £175,000 (about N48.7 million).
The Nigerian, Mudasir Adesina (pictured), who is 28-year-old and his wife, Laila Adesina, 22, alongside a Ghanaian, Gabriel Edwards, and one William Baidoo were found guilty of conspiracy to steal, and money laundering and were handed various sentences last Thursday.
Baidoo was sentenced to 40 months in prison, and Edwards got three years while Mudasir and Laila were handed three-and-half-year and 16-month respectively.
A fifth defendant will be sentenced separately on Friday 11 July 2014 at Manchester Crown Court.
One of their victims was a 72-year-old man returned from a visit abroad in early 2012 and was made aware by his bank that over £47,000 had been taken from his bank account between 17 November 2011 and 25 November 2011.
Following investigations, it was revealed the money had been deposited into different accounts without his knowledge using different Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police conducted warrants at homes across Greater Manchester and during house searches various documents, mobile phones and laptops were seized.
The computers and mobile telephones that were seized were examined and found that those involved in the conspiracy had acquired personal identification and account details for hundreds of people across the world. The information they had allowed them to transfer money from bank accounts held by customers of major high street banks and credit card companies, into accounts run by the conspiracy.
A high proportion of the details held on these computers had been used in attempts to dishonestly remove funds from individual’s bank accounts to the value of approximately £130,000.
Detective Constable Jane McHale from the Volume Fraud Unit said: “All those involved thought they could take money from the victim’s bank account and get away with it.
“Our investigations found that these people had accessed hundreds of accounts and time after time, those attempts had successfully resulted in funds being taken from bank accounts and placed into the hands of this conspiracy.
“It is clear from the analysis of telephone and computer records that the conspirators in this case were extremely busy over many months, involving themselves in sophisticated and highly lucrative conspiracies to steal and to conceal their ill-gotten gains.
“Thankfully, our investigation pointed the finger at all of them and we were able to secure evidence to bring them to justice.”