An asylum seeker and his brother-in-law have been jailed for a total of more than 14 years for their part in a £25 million internet fraud involving victims from 55 countries. Emmanuel Adanemhen, 50, and Eduwu Obasuyi, 40, pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court to their part in sophisticated fraud and money laundering scams.
A Kent Police spokesman said that Adanemhen arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker in 1998 and had assumed the identity of a deceased Portuguese man by changing his name by deed poll and on driving licences.
He used the fake identity to open bank accounts to launder funds from the fraud schemes which included dating website scams, false inheritance scams, overseas lottery wins and shipping frauds.
Police were led to Adanemhen after they arrested Obasuyi, of Friern Road, East Dulwich, London, who was detained as he was about to board a plane from London to Lagos, Nigeria.
Detectives found that the two defendants had moved more than £4 million through their various accounts which had come from victims in countries including Germany, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, United Arab Emirates and across the USA. One elderly victim from Florida was conned out of 2.9 million US dollars with the total lost by victims is estimated by police to be in excess of £25 million.
Adanemhen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to enter into a money laundering agreement and three counts of fraud against the Home Office and the DVLA in respect of fake documents.
Obasuyi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to enter into a money laundering agreement. Adanemhen was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and Obasuyi was sentenced to seven years. A date for Proceeds Of Crime Act proceedings will now be set. Detective Constable Paul Walker, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said:
'This was a highly sophisticated criminal enterprise with Emmanuel Adanemhen and Eduwu Obasuyi at the heart of operations.
'They were undoubtedly highly placed and trusted individuals, handling and moving millions of pounds obtained through devastating and cruel frauds played out on sometimes very elderly and vulnerable people.'