15 Feb 2019
(Convicted launderer: Avinash Kakumanu)
Two men have been jailed and another given a suspended sentence for their part in a fraud which saw a London-based 84 year-old man lose over £70,000.
Avinash Kakumanu, Dinesh Alavala and Ranjit Nellikondi tricked the victim into believing he was helping the authorities. According to City of London police, the elderly victim received a phone call from an unknown male presenting himself as a National Crime Agency (NCA) officer.
The elderly person was subsequently informed that his computer was being used for money laundering and his assistance was required in order to identify the offenders.
“Once he’d logged on to his computer, the fraudsters installed software which took over the device. The victim was then instructed to make a series of bank transfers at local branches to accounts he believed had been set up in his name,” the police explained in a statement.
After transferring nearly £74,000 to two accounts, a further transfer of £22,000 was prevented by his bank and the police were called.
Officers from the City of London Police’s Cyber Crime Unit were able to follow the money transferred by the victim to the fraudulent accounts and trace these back to Kakumanu and Alavala.
A search of the property they rented together uncovered £150,000 in cash which was seized and which authorities said will now be subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“The accounts were also traced back to Nellikondi. The investigation found that Nellikondi would receive large cash deposits into his own personal bank account which he then transferred via online banking to accounts in India,” the police said.
All three men pleaded guilty to their offences. Kakumanu, of Newham (London), was sentenced to three years for conspiracy to defraud, two years for money laundering and two years for possession of criminal property.
Dinesh Alavala, also of Newham (London), was sentenced to two years six months for conspiracy to defraud, 18 months for money laundering and 18 months for possession of criminal property.
Meanwhile, Rotherham-based Nellikondi received a suspended sentence of two years for money laundering.
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