Barclay’s Manager Foils Multi-Million Pound Fraudsters

After Rageh Omaar Impersonation Failed to Convince

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The Police in Chiswick

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Five men and one woman have been sentenced to a total of 15 years for their part in a £2.5 million pound scam which included an attempt to steal money from Chiswick resident Rageh Omaar.

The court heard how the con artists attempted to steal money from the Barclay’s Bank account of the former BBC reporter turned Al Jazeera presenter but were foiled when the branch manager realised that the impostor’s voice was not that of Mr Omaar.

The gang, led by Nigerian immigrant Oluwa Adekunle who lived in a St George’s Wharf apartment next to MI6’s HQ, defrauded accounts in branches of Halifax, HSBC and Barclays. Adekunle, who is aged between 24 and 31 and whose real name is still not known, used bank insiders to steal the identities, codes and passwords of more than 40 affluent account customers.

Presiding Judge Anthony Pitts sentenced Adekunle to five years saying, “You were the central figure and the heart of the conspiracy to defraud banks and their customers and played a central and committed role in the money laundering. Everywhere one looks in the evidence, it comes back to you.”

Adekunle, who came to the UK illegally on a British passport issued against a forged or stolen birth certificate in 2001, has been recommended for deportation after serving his sentence.
The court also heard how Shana Campbell, a customer adviser for Halifax, hacked into accounts of wealthy customers and passed on the confidential details enabling the gang to steal more than £785,000. The money was later laundered through three car dealers who also received sentences for their role in the fraud.

Described as a “bright and intelligent woman who had grossly abused trust”, Campbell was sentenced to four years. Adekunle’s cousin, Steven Fabian, was given a 30 month sentence for laundering £200,000.

DC Peter Gorman, private sector fraud unit, Economic and Specialist Crime said, "This is an example of the dedication of the Met's fraud officers who doggedly pursued the paper trail left by these criminals. After intensive investigation we have succeeded in tackling an entire network of criminals, who were stealing from innocent members of the public.

“Bank employees have abused this trust to pass on valuable account details. The sentence today we hope should give an indication to all persons working within the financial industry that any abuse of this position will inevitably lead to substantial prison sentences"

May 15, 2007