A Nigerian man, Saheed Azeez, who was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after claiming to be a gay, has been arrested for masterminding a £220,000 fraud.
The 33-year-old Azeez was not only arrested for fraud, he has also fathered three children with three different women.
Within 14 months, Azeez established a network involving various individuals, using their residences to receive goods from online vendors who shipped items before payment. He collected the items, which were purchased from sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and sold them at his brother’s electronics store in Wigan, in the North West of England.
He earned a portion of the sales and shared some profits with his accomplices in Bitcoin.
According to UK Telegraph, 272 people were tricked into shipping second-hand electronics like smartphones and cameras, without receiving payment.
Azeez was allowed to settle in the UK after claiming he was being persecuted over his sexuality by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria. He settled in Wigan, Greater Manchester, where he fathered three children with three different women after being granted asylum.
Police investigation began following unusual parcel activity in North Manchester, all linked to Azeez. He was apprehended while dropping off his son at school, where he attempted to hide three smartphones used in the scam in the child’s school bag.
He was also linked to the creation of 37 untraceable bank accounts in six different names, which accepted cryptocurrency as part of the racket.
Prosecutor Andy Evans explained that the phones revealed Azeez’s role in the online frauds, which involved contacting UK sellers of electronics and persuading them to send items before payment.
Azeez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and planning to possess criminal property. He faces a possible six-year jail sentence and is now identified as bisexual.