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Category: LONDON DIGEST

UK: NIGERIAN TELEPHONE BANKING SCAMMERS JAILED

Inner London Crown Court heard how Victor Oke, 39, of Galleons Drive, Barking, used stolen data provided by Desmond Uyiosa Abifade, 25, of Henniker Road, Stratford, to falsely impersonate company directors via telephone banking.

Once Oke gained access, he diverted funds to ‘mule’ beneficiary accounts monitored by Moses Kuye, 28, of Connaught Road, Silvertown.

Melinda Mensah-Oke, 37, also of Galleons Drive, impersonated company directors when a female voice was necessary, while Arinola Kuye, 27, also of Connaught Road, acted as the group’s money launderer.

They were caught after being spotted by fraud investigators at HSBC, who passed the case to the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) to investigate.

Desmond AbifadeDesmond Abifade

The DCPCU is sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance.

Police were able to analyse when and where the calls were made to identify the phones used and from there, the perpetrators.

All five were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, which they pleaded not guilty to.

On Wednesday, Oke was sentenced to four years in prison, while Moses Kuye was jailed for three years and three months.

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Mensah-Oke received a fourteen month suspended sentence and Abifade a two year suspended sentence.

 

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Arinola Kuye was given a 12 month community order and instructed to complete 50 hours of unpaid work.

DC Dave Cass, who investigated the case for the DCPCU said: “This was a concerted effort to commit fraud against two companies and profit from crime.

“The police take fraud very seriously and these sentences should send a message to fraudsters that you will be caught and punished.”

All losses were refunded to the genuine business account holders.

 

Culled from NewhamRecorder

 

 

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NIGERIAN YOUTH STABBED TO DEATH IN EAST LONDON

A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a young man in Newham.

At around 20:10hrs on Wednesday, 8 November, police were called by London Ambulance Service to reports of a man stabbed in Pier Road. E16.

Police officers attended the scene and found a man suffering critical injuries. Officers administered first aid prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

The victim – a 21-year-old man named as Jordan Adejo- was taken to an East London hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around 21:30hrs.

Officers believe they know the identity of the man, but await formal identification and confirmation that next of kin have been informed.

A post-mortem examination will be arranged in due course.

Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating, alongside colleagues from Newham borough.

Local road closures are in place, and police cordons are also affecting pedestrian footways in the Pier Road area of North Woolwich.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC.

To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

 


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HMRC ARREST TWO EAST LONDON MEN IN £17M MONEY LAUNDERING SCAM

TWO MEN have been arrested in connection with a suspected £17 million money laundering scam.

The suspects, aged 32 and 34, both from Ilford and were part of a group of six arrested on Thursday, November 2, as part of an ongoing investigation by HMRC.

According to a report in the Guardian, eighty officers from HMRC carried out simultaneous raids on properties in London, Coventry and Luton and at two business premises, one of which was in Ilford.

 

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Chris Gill, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC said: “Tackling money laundering is a priority for HMRC and we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of being involved.”

Four men and one woman arrested by HMRC have been released on bail and a man has been released under investigation.

SENIOR FIREFIGHTER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF STEALING CASH FROM GRENFELL TOWER FLAT

A senior firefighter has reportedly been arrested by officers investigating claims cash was taken from flats at Grenfell Tower days after the fire was put out according to a statement by the Metropolitan Police.

A police spokesman confirmed: ‘A 50-year-old man was arrested on October 12 on suspicion of theft by officers working on the Grenfell Tower fire investigation. MI5 chiefs ‘missed key warnings’ about Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi ‘He has been released under investigation.’

A source told The Sun on Sunday, the man was a firefighter from a brigade called in from outside London to help fight the blaze. The source said: ‘The suspicion has always been the thief worked in some capacity for the emergency services. ‘A senior fireman was arrested a few weeks ago. It caused shock.’

The man was reportedly questioned by the Met on suspicion of theft and had his hotel room searched in the wake of the fire.

He strongly denies any involvement and initial police investigations put him in the clear. ‘Inquiries so far indicate that the man arrested did not have access to the site during the time the thefts took place,’ a Met spokesman told The Sun. Cash was looted from victims’ homes during the inferno in London’s North Kensington, which killed 80.

Enraged families speaking after the news emerged described it as ‘stealing from the graveyard’. Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, branded the looting ‘appalling’ Police believe money was taken from an abandoned flat some time after June 20, six days after the blaze.

People who were directly affected by the disaster were informed first, with the news immediately raising concerns over security measures elsewhere in the block of flats. ‘Sue, I’m sorry!’ The giant message in the field was an apology At the time, Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, said: ‘You would imagine that a crime scene would be closely guarded day and night, yet somehow an outsider has been able to get in and commit this appalling and disrespectful crime against survivors of the Grenfell fire.’ Months later more money was found to be missing when survivors were allowed back in to the building to collect belongings. There has been no indication of how much money went missing in total.

SE LONDON: WOOLWICH MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN JAIL FOR BILAL KARGBO MURDER

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a young father in Peckham during a trivial argument in the street, using a knife that he admitted to carrying ‘for his own protection’.

Parrish Ofoeme, 23, (9.06.94) of Burrage Road, Greenwich was found guilty on Wednesday, 1 November, of the murder of 25-year-old Bilal Kargbo. He was also found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon.

The conviction followed a two-week trial at the Inner London Crown Court. Ofoeme was sentenced the same day to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 21 years. He was given a two years sentence, to run concurrently, for possessing the knife.

On Friday 28 April, at around 15:15hrs, Ofoeme stabbed Bilal three times during an altercation outside a mobile phone shop in Rye Lane, Peckham.

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Bilal had gone to the shop with a friend who was having his phone repaired. He encountered Ofoeme outside the shop, and a row developed between the two men over perceived disrespect and who may have been staring at whom.

Police officers gave emergency first aid prior to the arrival of paramedics, but Bilal was pronounced dead at the scene at 15:51hrs.

A police identification identified Ofoeme through witness accounts and phone records. He was arrested at a relative’s address in Enfield on 1 May, and was charged with the murder three days later.

Ofoeme claimed self-defence, and gave a false account insisting that he had taken the knife used in the attack from the victim. Eventually he was forced to admit that the knife belonged to him and that he carried it ‘for his own protection’ after a previous, unrelated attack on a relative.

Investigating Officer Detective Sergeant Jason Grafham, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “As a result of his habitual carrying of a knife, Parrish Ofoeme stabbed Bilal to death following a pathetic argument about ‘respect’.

“This took place in a busy London street in front of children, local shoppers and worshippers leaving a local mosque. It has had a devastating impact upon the victim’s family, including his children who have lost their father.

“I want to make it clear that we will pursue not only those who commit such heinous crimes, but also those who choose to carry weapons. You will be found, you will be arrested and you will be held to account.”

GOLDMAN SACHS INVESTS £100M IN WEST AFRICAN INSPIRED SAVINGS CLUB FINTECH STARTUP

Global finance and investments powerhouse, Goldman Sachs has invested £100 million in a fintech startup founded by two of its former bankers that lets people borrow money and repay through their salaries.

Inspired by a West African savings club, Neyber, founded in 2014 and launched in 2015, partners with employers to let their staff borrow money at attractive rates.

Repayments are then deducted from future salaries, lowering the risk for the lender and hopefully helping staff manage money better.

Goldman’s investment in the UK-based fintech startup is a mixture of debt and equity. It comes alongside an extra £15 million of lending capital for Neyber from existing investors, led by former Deutsche Bank COO Henry Ritchotte and Gael de Boissard, the former cohead of Credit Suisse’s investment bank.

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The startup was founded by three former investment bankers, including two Goldman alums. CEO Martin Ijaha, 35, left Goldman in 2012 and came up with the idea for the business when thinking about the experience of his family as a child.

Neyber has lent £70 million since 2015

“After leaving Goldman, even during my time at Goldman, I was looking at fintech,” Ijaha told Business Insider. “At that time it was defined by peer-to-peer lending, which I found interesting but really I thought there were a few fundamental flaws. There wasn’t a real value proposition for borrowers. It was largely targeting those who could already get loans from banks. I didn’t really feel that it was a sufficient solution.”

Thinking about how he might do something better for borrowers, he remembered his mother taking part in Sou-Sou, a West African savings club tradition.

Ijaha told BI: “She was a nurse. They would go to work and they would have this savings club that they called Sou-Sou, which effectively meant they put some amount of money, £50, into a pot every time they were paid. One of them would take the money home at the end of that month.”

The communal pot would act as a form of community saving, with members able to take money out when they needed.

“I just remember the experience of my mother coming back with £50 notes when it was her turn,” says Ijaha. “That was their way of helping each other save and also make sure they could borrow at reasonable rates because effectively there weren’t any rates. They did this for years and it worked.”

 

‘Cutting out the banks’

 

Ijaha and his cofounders — Monica Kalia, 44, another former Goldmanite, and Ezechi Britton, 37, an ex-Credit Suisse banker — wanted to apply this collective saving and borrowing model in the workplace because it’s “the biggest community,” Ijaha said. Credit unions also inspired them.

Initially, they ran a proof of concept with Ijaha’s former school in West London, St Charles Sixth Form College. Ijaha approached his former headmaster who “loved the idea.”

“He said, ‘Actually, we already have this issue. A number of teachers are asking me for advances on their salaries and I informally agree to do it.’ We were able to run a pilot with St Charles, we started lending with them in February 2014. We lent them up to £1,500 at a rate of up to 7.9%. We found there was significant demand to borrow.”

Neyber has also partnered with Police Mutual to offer loans to police officers.

That helped convince Police Mutual to sign-up. Police Mutual is the mutual insurance society for the UK police.

Ijaha said: “We effectively said we would help them lend to police through their salaries and they could fund the loans by issuing a savings product. You effectively create that model where you’re borrowing and savings within the workplace.”

Police Mutual not only agreed to a pilot with Neyber, but also invested in the business and put in place a £50 million debt facility it could lend to police officers.

Ijaha says: “You’re cutting out the banks, providing much higher interest on saving products, and much lower rates. We had police who were borrowing at an average rate of around 30% — we were lending at an average rate of around 7%.”

Neyber has lent over £70 million and now works with over 80 employers, including 10 NHS trusts, DHL and Anglian Water.

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Cofounder Monica Kalia told BI: “The sell in to the employer is very much around financial well-being. Typically an employer would have a range of different benefits on offer outside of just pay — bike to work schemes, childcare vouchers, gym membership.

“Actually, employers increasingly understand that they need to understand financial well-being. We have a financial education portal and the aim there is to engage people with money so they’re much better informed.”

‘We’re very, very proud really’

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013.

Ijaha wouldn’t disclose the exact breakdown between debt and equity of Goldman’s £100 million investment but said the greater part is debt.

He said the equity investment will be used to fund the development of new products, including a savings account based on salary deductions and new borrowing products.

Kalia said they are “very proud” to have sealed investment from their former employer.

“Obviously, the reputation speaks for itself. Having worked there, we know the standards that they expect. We’re very, very proud really.”

Dennis Beeson, a senior executive with Goldman Sachs Private Capital, said in a statement announcing the deal: “Employee financial wellbeing is of increasing importance to UK employers and Neyber is a key player in the evolving market. Neyber’s strong management and leading technology platform ensure its continued success.”

Ijaha said: “We spoke with the majority of providers in the market. Goldman was the most flexible and the most motivated to do a deal with us. Based on our existing relationship with Goldman, we obviously know how things work there. They did a significant amount of diligence — we’re talking six months of diligence — and were pleased with what they found.”

SIMON COWELL FALL CAUSED BY LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

SIMON Cowell has revealed that his  horror fall last week was caused by low blood pressure.

The X Factor boss, 58, admits he was lucky to survive after fainting and tumbling down stairs.

After he was rushed to hospital in a neck brace and told to rest from this weekend’s shows, Cowell has vowed to change his lifestyle for the sake of three-year-old son Eric.

 

Simon said: “Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock.

“They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.

“After all I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.”

 

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Simon Cowell gives a thumbs up after being rushed to hospital, fainting the day before X Factor live shows start.

Recalling the accident in detail for the first time, he said: “I’d gone to get some hot milk because I felt ropey. On the way back upstairs, I just remember feeling really dizzy.

“Next thing I know someone was putting a neck brace on me and I had a terrible headache, which must have been from me hitting the stairs. I was worried at first that I’d done some real damage.

“But I’m on the mend now. I know I was very lucky I didn’t hurt myself seriously.

“It could have been a lot worse. I must say, everyone at the hospital were incredible. I’m truly grateful.”

 

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PETER JORDAN – THE SUN: Simon Cowell was stretchered out of his London home after falling down the stairs
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Simon was back home ten hours after his 999 dash at 7am on Friday.

But on docs’ advice he watched the weekend shows at home with partner Lauren Silverman, 40, and Eric. Judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger took charge on Saturday.

Last night they were joined by Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha.

A source said: “The medics told Simon it would be too quick for him to return to work 48 hours after a serious medical episode.

Simon Cowell listened to doctors advice and skipped the first week of live shows

“Alesha was a natural stand-in. She’s well liked and knows what she’s doing.”

Last Thursday evening, hours before the accident, Simon spoke to The Sun about the changes to the live shows and his hopes for the final.

At X Factor’s new West London studios, he said: “If we don’t find an out-and-out star this year we’ve failed. I’d blame myself. And all of us.

“You can’t get it right every year. But I’m genuinely excited by a few people we’ve turned up.”

In June, Simon Cowell pulled out of the X Factor’s London auditions over a mystery illness

This year the Sunday results show has been changed to include a second round of singing.

Simon has scrapped the survival sing-off which would see the judges vote to save their favourite act, often sparking controversy.

Instead more screen time is devoted to the most talented singers and less to the no-hoper “novelty” acts.

And in a further twist, the top-ranking performers after the weekend’s public vote will sing once more for a “money can’t buy prize”.

Simon added: “Now each weekend is like a mini-final. When we say ‘money cant buy’ it’s got to be exactly that. When the team showed me what they’d got for prizes I almost didn’t believe them. They’re bloody brilliant.”

Asked if he is desperate to emulate Strictly’s success, Simon said: “It’s the same as when you’re running a record label. You’re having a good run then out of nowhere another artist on another label starts selling gazillions.

“All you can think is ‘Right, how do I get my artist to do that too?’

“Do I always want to be more successful? One million percent.

“The truth is, and I hate to use words like ‘catch-up’ etc, but about eight million watch our show every week, and maybe even as many as ten million in the end.

“I haven’t watched Strictly in four years. I probably should. But I’m like that with the record label too.

“Sometimes you see a big album drop but you think, ‘Shall I listen to it — maybe not it’s just going to make me feel sick!’”

Simon is thrilled ex-judge Cheryl’s return as a guest has proved a hit.

He said: “She’s so quick. We’ve had our ups and down but we have an amazing working relationship. We hope to feature Cheryl in another show we’re working on. We’re going to announce it soon.”

Simon had “no idea” about Nicole Scherzinger’s future after she recently hinted she could quit.

He added: “All I would say is the people on the show have got to want to be about the contestants, I’ve always said that.

“If you’ve got bad contestants you’ve got a bad show . . . great contestants, you’ve got a shot.”

 

HOW YOU CAN TACKLE THE CONDITION

FAINTING is always due to low blood pressure at that moment.

When blood flow to the brain plummets, you lose consciousness.

Some people do have continually low blood pressure – under 90/60.

On the whole having low blood pressure is a good thing and often needs no treatment.

But some people can get symptoms like dizziness or recurrent fainting.

You can help the condition by not standing for long periods and by avoiding dehydration and excess alcohol.

Also, don’t miss meals. Have frequent small meals.

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