Croydon con man becomes first crook caged by 'British FBI'
A con artist from Croydon who cheated bank customers out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has become the first crook put behind bars by a new crime-fighting agency dubbed the 'British FBI'.
Olukunle Babatunde, 27, of Violet Lane, was jailed for five-and-a-half years for swindling £815,764 out of hundreds of victims in a series of elaborate phishing scams.
He was locked up on Monday after an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), the UK's most powerful law enforcement body, which became fully operational last week.
Between July 2011 and January this year, Babatunde conned 765 victims with emails designed to lure them into revealing their bank log-in details.
Santander and Lloyds Bank customers were among those defrauded.
He was jailed at Inner London Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to remove or conceal criminal property, money laundering and acquiring criminal property on September 9 on what would have been the first day of his trial.
His accomplice, 25-year-old Tamar Abdulhamid, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to remove or conceal criminal property worth £64,535.
Andy Archibald, head of the NCA's national cyber crime unit, said: "This is an excellent result built on the joint working of precursor agencies and has involved the examination of a large number of data, resulting in 765 victim accounts being identified.
"The National Crime Agency will continue to share information and intelligence with regards to serious and organised cyber crime, ensuring those who pose a threat to the public are identified and held accountable for their actions".
The NCA, first announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in 2010, has been billed as an elite agency to combat organised crime including drug trafficking, gun smuggling, child abuse, fraud, corruption and cyber crime.
It has 4,000 officers and a wider remit than its predecessor, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, with NCA bosses pledging to commit more resources to catching the most serious offenders.
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