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Internet fraud laundryman gets two years in cooler

Handed over suitcase with £470,000 to man in car park

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An internet fraudster was sentenced to two years prison yesterday for his part in a gang which pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds from various web-based scams.

Michael Ugboaja, 48, of Beckton, was sentenced for his part in laundering £470,000.

The gang targeted a Canadian doctor on a dating site and persuaded her to hand over $100,000 (£62,500) to a man she believed to be a diamond dealer.

An accountant from Melbourne, who was tricked by a series of emails and meetings, handed over A$1.7m (£1.14m) in the belief he would receive a A$500m loan.

The Aussie beancounter had meetings in Dubai and England with different members of the gang and was even shown a trunk full of cash to convince him the scam was genuine.

A Swiss hotel owner lost £11,000 that he believed was being invested in oil.

Over four months, £470,000 was paid into an account opened by Ugboaja. He took the money out in cash and handed it to an unknown man in a supermarket carpark. The cash was never recovered.

The leaders of the gang have still not been traced.

The Metropolitan Police statement is here. ®

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