Beckton man laundered scammers’ loot

A Beckton man has been jailed for two years for his part in an internet scam that tempted its victims to part with millions of pounds.

A man has been jailed for two years for his part in an internet scam that tempted its victims to part with millions of pounds.

Following an investigation by the Territorial Support Group Payback team, Michael Ugboaja was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court for laundering over �470,000.

The 48-year-old, of Mitchell Walk, Beckton, was part of a chain of fraudsters who defrauded their victims in creative ways.

One of his victims, a doctor from Canada flew in to give evidence during the trial. A member of an internet dating site, she was persuaded to hand over more than 100,000 dollars to a man she met online claiming to be a diamond trader.

An accountant from Melbourne, Australia, also handed over 1.7 million Australian dollars in order to secure a non-existent 500 million dollar loan.

Over the course of 14 months he paid out large amounts of money into various bank accounts to secure the loan. He even travelled to England and Dubai for spurious business meetings with the conmen.

Most Read

In the UK, he was taken to a virtual office in Hertfordshire where he was shown a trunk containing a large quantity of cash - part of the plan to make the fraud more convincing.

In a separate scheme, a Swiss hotel owner was conned out of �11,000 in a fraudulent oil investment.

Michael Ugboaja, who was convicted at Inner London Crown Court, opened two business accounts to transfer money through.

Over a period of four months �470,000 was paid into the business account from the fraud victims. This money was then withdrawn in cash and handed over in increments to an unknown man in a supermarket car park. That money has never been recovered.

Sgt Dean Murray, of the TSG Payback Unit in Chadwell Heath, said: “Michael Ugboaja was the final link in a sophisticated international team of fraudsters. This fraud left two people on the verge of bankruptcy and the Canadian victim gave an TV interview in Canada to warn people of these internet based scams.”

Those who masterminded the scheme have yet to be traced.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter