Picture: Mohammed Siddique, Mohammed Rafeek, Meharoof Muttiyan
Mohammed Rafeek, 34 and Meharoof Muttiyan, 35 from East Ham and Mohammed Siddique, 32, from Goodmayes along with another two attempted to steal more than £3 million from a London businessman in 2015.
The scam was carried out by altering the email account of a single victim, enabling emails to be sent without his knowledge and preventing him from viewing messages from his accountant and bank.
In January 2015 the group sent several emails from the victim’s account to his bank requesting payment be made to a number of people. Payment was requested through fraudulent invoices containing account numbers belonging to the suspects.
Between 8 and 13 January 2015 approximately £1.3 million was transferred into three accounts.
Detectives managed to identify each suspect through the examination of banking, phone and computer records. Over the course of several months they pieced together key evidence of the money trail, patterns of communication and the ownership of individual devices linked to the offences.
Officers carried out searches on the home addresses of each suspect. They seized more than 50 electronic items including computers, mobile phones and digital storage devices.
Detective Constable Barry Steel from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit said: “This was a complicated and protracted investigation which uncovered a network of apparently legitimate businessmen involved in large scale laundering of the proceeds of online criminality.
“This case should demonstrate how determined the Met is in identifying, disrupting and prosecuting those intent on committing crime online and protecting people and businesses across the city.
“Officers on this case spent years tracing the actions of this group in order to bring them before the courts. They trawled through thousands of pieces of evidence, and linked each suspect to this fraud.”
All five were convicted at Southwark Crown Court on 22 May following a five-month trial and sentenced there on 21 June.
Mohammed Siddique, 32, from Goodmayes was found guilty of three counts of money laundering and was jailed for six years.
Mohammed Rafeek, 34, from East Ham was found guilty of two counts of money laundering and was jailed for two years and six months.
Meharoof Muttiyan, 35, from East Ham was found guilty of money laundering and was jailed for one year and eight months.
Foyjul Islam, 51, from Poplar was found guilty of one count of money laundering and was jailed for two years and six months.
Anthony Oshodi, 49, from Eltham was found guilty of one count of money laundering, one count of possession of a false identify document and three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud. He was jailed for six years and six months but fled three weeks into the trial and was convicted and sentenced in absence.
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