A Nigerian conman who tricked people into handing over money
and personal data in expectation of receiving a huge windfall has been sentenced
to 20 months in prison by a Welsh court.
Peter Okoeguale, 33, who was
arrested in Wales while is the process of committing one such '419'
scam, also faces deportation from the United Kingdom at the end of his sentence.
arrested, Okoeguale was found in possession of headed notepapers and forged
documents, all created for the purposes of duping gullible victims and making
them believe he was a in charge of a large fortune which needed to be laundered
through a Western bank account.
In sentencing, Judge John Rogers QC said: "You had in your
possession a substantial amount of equipment and carefully drafted fraudulent
documents with the intention that they should be used to fool gullible people."
Handing out the custodial sentence Rogers said "only a period
of imprisonment is appropriate" for a crime which amounted to "international
Police investigating the case have tracked down 11 victims of
Okoeguale. One individual in Scotland lost £20,000 (US$36,582) to the scam, according to
Although sympathy is often thin on the ground for victims of
the scam, who fall foul to their own greed and gullibility, the National
Criminal Intelligence Service says the organised crime rings behind them still
need to be cracked because the money raised by perpetrating such frauds often
funds far more serious criminal
activity such as the trafficking of drugs and people.
At the time of his arrest Okoeguale was based in Ireland
where he was living with his wife and children.