Two Dagenham residents have been put behind bars after compromising more than 700 bank accounts and cell phone accounts to commit fraud in a six-year crime spree.
Nigerian-born Oluwaseun Ajayi, aged 39, and 49-year-old Inga Irbe hacked into bank accounts then applied for loans, credit cards, and additional bank accounts in the names of their victims.
An investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Central Specialist Crime—Cyber Crime Unit revealed that the duo also committed multiple incidences of phone upgrade fraud by gaining unauthorized access to strangers’ cell phone accounts and ordering £12,000 worth of new devices.
Police searches of the address shared by Irbe and Ajayi resulted in the seizure of numerous items, including multiple cell phones, SIM Cards, iPads, and a laptop. Correspondence and bank cards in other people’s names were also confiscated, along with £1,200 cash in £50 notes.
The pair, who both reside at Orchard Road, Dagenham, and who may be romantically involved, were found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between February 1, 2012, and May 14, 2018. Ajayi was further found guilty of failing to comply with a Section 49 RIPA notice to disclose his phone’s PIN number to police.
The guilty verdicts were reached by a jury at Croydon Crown Court on November 27. In the same court, on Friday, January 10, Ajayi was sentenced to five years and six months in prison, while Irbe was handed a community order of 12 months and ordered to complete 170 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Inspector Gary Myers said: “Ajayi and Irbe committed these offences in a manner that showed a lot of pre-planning and deception.
“However, they were not able to deceive officers, who carried out a thorough investigation which has brought these two criminals to justice.
“While cybercrime can often be complex and investigations take months, Met officers will not relent in pursuing those that hide behind their keyboards to steal other people’s money and make their lives a misery.”
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