Jailed: Email hacking gang who attempted to steal £3 million from businessman

Top left to right: Meharoof Muttiyan and Mohammed Rafeek. Bottom left to right: Foyjul Islam and Moh

Top left to right: Meharoof Muttiyan and Mohammed Rafeek. Bottom left to right: Foyjul Islam and Mohammed Siddique. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Gang members who hacked into a businessman’s email account and attempted to steal £3 million have been jailed for a total of more than 19 years.

Foyjul Islam, 51, of Aberfeldy Street, Poplar; Mohammed Siddique, 32, of Chancellor Way, Dagenham; Mohammed Rafeek, 34, and Meharoof Muttiyan, 35, both of Hockley Avenue, East Ham, were found guilty of money laundering at Southwark Crown Court last month.

They were sentenced at the same court on Friday where Siddique was handed a six month prison term.

Islam and Rafeek were jailed for two years and six months each and Muttiyan for one year and eight months.

The fifth man, Anthony Oshodi, of Eltham, was found guilty of money laundering, possession of a false identity document and articles for use in fraud. The 49-year-old was jailed for six years and six months in his absence.

The court heard how the group hacked into their victim's email account sending messages without his knowledge and stopping him from seeing others from his bank and accountant.

In January 2015 they sent fake invoices in a string of emails to his bank requesting payments adding up to about £1.3m to account numbers belonging to the gang.

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The gang was convicted following a four year investigation which saw the Met's cyber crime squad trawl through thousands of pieces of evidence.

The men were finally caught after detectives scoured bank, phone and computer records.

More than 50 electronic devices including computers and mobiles were seized in raids at their addresses.

The investigation revealed Siddique laundered £600,000 with officers finding stolen bank cards and three cheques worth up to £51k at his address.

There were also 1,000 passports and bank cards on his computer used to create false identities.

Muttiyan acted as the gang's mule transferring cash through the bank accounts of a petrol station, insurance claims firm and computer business owned by the gang.

He was found with a fraudulent £28,000 cheque.

And the jury heard Rafeek distributed more than £250,000 while Islam sourced accounts to receive the stolen money.

Det Con Barry Steel, from the Met's cyber crime unit, called it a "complicated and protracted investigation".

He added: "Officers on this case spent years tracing the actions of this group in order to bring them before the courts. They trawled through thousands of pieces of evidence, and linked each suspect to this fraud."

Anyone who knows where Oshodi is should call police on 020 7230 8475.