A 33-year-old Nigerian man, Saheed Azeez, who secured refugee status in the UK under the pretext of being gay has not only had three children with different women, but has also orchestrated a £220,000 parcel fraud via Facebook and eBay.
Saheed Azeez, who claimed he faced persecution by Boko Haram militants in his home country, was sentenced to six years in prison at Bolton Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and plotting to possess criminal property.
Azeez, residing in Wigan, collaborated with Nigerian fraudsters to establish an intricate network for a well-resourced scam.
The modus operandi involved convincing sellers on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and WhatsApp to send high-value items to various addresses with the promise of payment upon delivery.
However, Azeez would intercept the goods, selling them through his brother’s electronics shop.
Over 14 months, Azeez, in collaboration with his associates, persuaded up to 272 victims to send goods worth a total of £220,000 to strangers’ homes. These individuals were promised a share of the proceeds in exchange for receiving the fraudulently obtained items.
Azeez was tracked down by the police while dropping off one of his young sons at a primary school. During the arrest, he reportedly concealed three smartphones, integral to the scam, in the child’s school bag.
The phones reportedly contained incriminating videos, including one sent to an underworld contact named ‘Baddest Boy,’ showcasing stolen smartphones.Having admitted to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and plotting to possess criminal property, Azeez is set to be sentenced next week, facing a potential six-year jail term.
Nine individuals who allowed their addresses to be used as ‘drops’ in the scam will, according to reports, be sentenced next year.