Jailed: Silvertown conmen who defrauded pensioner of more than £70,000

Dinesh Alavala and Avinash Kakumanu. Picture: City of London Police

Dinesh Alavala and Avinash Kakumanu. Picture: City of London Police - Credit: City of London Police

Two conmen from Silvertown have been jailed for their part in defrauding a pensioner out of more than £70,000.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Avinash Kakumanu and Dinesh Alavala, both 31 and of Admiralty Avenue, were part of a group which targeted an 84-year-old man.

The man, who lived in the Barbican area of London, received a call from a man posing as a National Crime Agency officer who told him tha this computer was being used for money laundering and his assistance was required in order to identify the offenders.

Once he’d logged on to his computer, the fraudsters installed software which took over the device.

The victim was then instructed to make a series of bank transfers to accounts he believed had been set up in his name.

After transferring £73,750 to two accounts, a further transfer of £22,000 was blocked by his bank and police were called.

Officers from the City of London Police’s cyber crime unit were able to trace the accounts the money was transferred into back to Kakumanu and Alavala.

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A search of the home they shared found £150,000 in cash which was seized.

The accounts were also traced back to Ranjut Nellikondi, 37, of Sheffield Road, Rotherham, who would receive cash deposits into his account which he then transferred via online banking to accounts in India.

In court, all three men admitted to the charges against them.

Kakumanu was sentenced to three years for conspiracy to defraud, two years for money laundering and two years of possession of criminal property, all to be served concurrently.

Alavala was sentenced to two years and six months for conspiracy to defraud, 18 months for money laundering and 18 months for possession of criminal property, all to be served concurrently.

Nellikondi received a two year suspended sentence for money laundering.

Det Insp Gary Robinson said: “The manner in which crime is committed and offenders now operate in this digital age represents a growing threat to us all, but particularly more vulnerable members of our society.

“If you receive a request to provide personal or financial information, or are asked to withdraw money or transfer money to another account, take a moment to reflect on what is being asked of you and don’t be afraid to question it.

“Your bank, the police, or any other trusted organisation will never ask you for your PIN or full banking password.”

If you think you, or a friend or family member, has been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.