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Gravesend man sentenced to six-years for money laundering

November 16, 2012, 11:03 am

A man from Gravesend has been sentenced to six-years after being found guilty of money laundering.

Peter Oyewor (50) of Grieves Road,  Gravesend, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday, 14 November 2012.

He was arrested following an investigation by the Serious Economic Crime Unit of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate. Detectives were able to prove that between July 2007 and September Oyewor had transferred £1.4m of money through his agencies. The money has been sent from fraud victims throughout the world, but mainly from the USA and Australia. He then acted as the relay point for transferring the bulk of the funds to Nigera.

In court it emerged that Oyewor had operated as an agent for Western Union and Moneygram at locations at Manor Road, Gravesend and Herbert Road, Woolwich.

Oyewor who holds both British and Nigerian nationality used copies of false identity documents to give the impression that customers were attending his premises to send and receive money whilst he was electronically transferring the funds on and no cash was leaving the premises.

In a ten month period from February 2009 and October 2009 Oyewor undertook 63 receive transactions to the value of £104,000. Genuine documentation was used on two occasions. Moneygram identified the issue and closed the agency.

From July 2007 to September 2010 Oyewor operated as Abmec Logistics in Herbert Road, Woolwich, during that period his agency received £1.4m in transfers from overseas of this money £1.25m was accounted for using false Identification. From July 2010 and September 2010 whilst operating as Benson Logistics at Manor Road, Gravesend his agency received £97,000 in transfers from overseas of which £92,000 was accounted for using false identification.

The criminal operation was ended when officers from the Serious Economic Crime Unit began enquiries following a complaint of a fraudulent payment received from the USA and Western Union on receiving a report of concern from the police closed the agencies.

At the time of sentencing His Honour Judge Jeremy Carey stated the Oyewor had ‘been convicted on the clearest evidence of money laundering.

‘This case is in the high end of the bracket of serious offences of this kind.’

‘There was determined offending over a substantial period of years. Offending as a money launderer from late 2007 until late 2010.’

The investigation undertaken by Detective Sergeant Adrian Brown who said: ‘Oyewor operated as a conduit to move vast quantities of money into the UK and then onto Nigeria. He appeared to be operating a legitimate UK based money transfer agency in which people had confidence. Little did they know he was then moving their cash to criminals primarily based in Nigeria.

‘The money had been fraudulently gained from people across the globe in a variety of scams. Oyewor was not the fraudster but did play a significant role by laundering the funds. People were tricked through a variety of methods, from dating scams to renting property that didnt exist. In two instances people believed they were paying expenses incurred by girlfriends who they intended to travel to live with them, but in fact they had been conned out of thousands.

‘The money was largely taken from people in the USA and Australia but we also identified victims in Mongolia, Russia, Ireland, Malaysia, Israel and Germany.

‘Without Oyewors input the fraudsters would have been unable to have taken advantage of their victims, he was an important part of the process.

‘I am very pleased with the sentence imposed which clearly demonstrates the severity of the offences.

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