11th October 2013
A Croydon man has been jailed for phishing offences intended to defraud banks, financial institutions and their customers.
27 year-old Olukunle Babatunde was sentenced to serve five and a half years at Inner London Crown Court, after pleading guilty to a number of offences. Babatunde had been arrested in connection with an ongoing operation investigating the distribution of stolen financial data obtained by means of “organised international crime”. He had sent out phishing emails designed to fool customers to reveal their banking details for direct fraudulent use, or to sell on the lucrative black market for this kind of data.
The conviction represents the first conviction under the auspices of the newly-formed National Crime Agency (NCA) and its cyber division – the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU). The NCCU consists of the merged teams of the Metropolitan Police's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) and the cyber operation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
The ageny has said that Babatunde's phishing operation could have netted in excess of £750,000 if it had been successful. Head of the NCCU Andy Archibald 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.”