million following a civil recovery investigation into a Nigerian fraudster and
his long-term British partner, both of whom led extravagant lifestyles despite
their declared combined annual income never exceeding £49,000.
Ayodele Balogun), 42, and his 21-year-old partner Sara Bharat Yadav, 40, from
Cranbrook Road, Chiswick, London were ordered to hand over £1.011.431 to the
NCA today under the Proceeds of Crime Act at the High Court.
bank accounts; £199,000 worth of three Patek Philippe watches; and £15,000
worth of a private car registration plate.
numerous offences of dishonesty from 1998 to 2016. Odewale made its scams into
wealthy areas, researching their details through public records and
fraudulently applying in their names for credit cards which he used to withdraw
is also believed to have impersonated some of his victims, ordered and
intercepted replacement debit cards, which he then used to buy high-value items
such as watches. These watches were then traded and sold through bank accounts
belonging to Odewale and Yadav, where the proceeds were laundered.
couple had hundreds of thousands of pounds passing through their bank accounts
every year, despite the fact that Odewale had no legitimate job earnings since
his release from prison in 2005, and far beyond Yadav’s salaries as an
operations manager at Imperial College.
Conwy Drive, Liverpool, respectively, Yadav and Odewale also purchased
properties with significant deposits involved in each. Subsequently, those
properties were sold in what the NCA believed was an attempt to launder the
proceeds from the criminal activities of Odewale.
2016, the couple still enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle. The rent alone on
Yadav’s Chiswick home is nearly £ 42,000 a year – more than her annual
earnings. They have owned expensive cars in the past three years including a
Porsche Carrera, two Mercedes, and Yadav is currently driving an Audi RS4 worth
around £60,000 when new.
to a private school that costs £37,000 per year. They have also frequently
enjoyed luxury holidays in India, Morocco, Nigeria , South Africa, Cape Verde
“inherently unlikely” one of Odewale’s explanations that he made
“hundreds of thousands of pounds” to fund his lifestyle at the betting
High Court via video from Nigeria, as he is subject to a deportation order and
is unable to return to the United Kingdom. The High Court Judge who heard the
case found that he had shown “little concern for the victims of the
fraud” and offered “bare (often angry) denials” to the NCA
barrister’s questions put to him.
Odewale left for Nigeria, was also found to have knownly benefited from assets
gained through unlawful conduct by the High Court judge, Mrs Justice McGowan.
to the illegitimacy of those funds” and enjoyed the luxuries it provided
noting, for example, the gold Rolex she wore to the hearing.
started the investigation in December 2016, and analysed 12,000 financial
transactions between 2010 and 2016.
found the NCA’s evidence to be “detailed, cogent, and helpful.”
the NCA, said: “Odewale and Yadav had extravagant lifestyles funded from
stealing the identities of honest, law abiding citizens. We have recovered
their assets so they see no benefit from their unlawful activity.
investigation has paid off, having worked closely with partners including the
Metropolitan Police and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit.
those linked to economic crime, and take away their illicit assets.”
National Economic Crime Centre, said: “Fraud causes real harm to people across
the UK and we are determined to use all our powers, including civil recovery,
to disrupt criminals and take money and assets out of their hands.
has a unique role coordinating the response to economic crime, bringing
together the full force of our partners from across the public and private
for us, and today ‘s fantastic result shows what can be achieved by using all
our tools and powers to protect the people and prosperity of the United
watches and £140,759, which could be traced back to two specific frauds, be
handed over to NatWest Bank to replace the money used to compensate two of its