Imprisoned: East London email hacking gang who tried to steal £ 3million from businessman

Gang members who hacked into a businessman’s email account and attempted to steal £ 3million have been jailed for more than 19 years in total.

Foyjul Islam, 51, from Aberfeldy Street, poplar; Mohammed Siddique, 32, of Chancellor Way, Dagenham; Mohammed Rafeek, 34, and Meharoof Muttiyan, 35, both of Hockley Avenue, East Ham, were convicted of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court last month.

They were sentenced on Friday by the same court where Siddique was sentenced to six months in prison.

Islam and Rafeek were each imprisoned for two years and six months and Muttiyan for one year and eight months.

The fifth man, Anthony Oshodi, of Eltham, has been convicted of money laundering, possession of false identification and items for fraudulent use. The 49-year-old was jailed for six years and six months in his absence.

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The court heard how the group hacked their victim’s email account by sending messages without his knowledge and preventing him from seeing other people from his bank and accountant.

In January 2015, they sent fake invoices in a series of emails to his bank asking for payments totaling around £ 1.3million to account numbers belonging to the gang.

The gang was convicted following a four-year investigation that saw the Met’s cybercrime team dig through thousands of pieces of evidence.

The men were eventually arrested after detectives searched bank, telephone and computer records.

More than 50 electronic devices, including computers and cell phones, were seized during searches of their addresses.

The investigation found that Siddique had laundered £ 600,000 with agents finding stolen bank cards and three checks worth up to £ 51,000 to his address.

There were also 1,000 passports and bank cards on his computer used to create false identities.

Muttiyan acted as a gang mule transferring money through the bank accounts of a gang-owned gas station, insurance company, and IT company.

He was found with a fraudulent check for £ 28,000.

And the jury heard that Rafeek had distributed over £ 250,000 as Islam secured accounts to receive the stolen money.

Det Con Barry Steel of the Met’s Cybercrime Unit called it a “complicated and protracted investigation.”

He added: “The officers in charge of this case have spent years tracing the actions of this group in order to bring them to court. They searched thousands of pieces of evidence and linked every suspect to this fraud.”

Anyone who knows where Oshodi is should call the police on 020 7230 8475.

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June J. Lopez

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