Five Nigerians have been jailed in the United Kingdom for committing a N143 million (£358,000) fraud.
The gang, including two others, targeted over 2,000 BT account owners predominantly in the Portsmouth area, between May 2014 and July 2016. They reportedly used the details of Paypal accounts to order expensive items.
Many of the items include expensive clothes, wrist watches, jewellery and television.
The Nigerians involved in the crime are: Festus Emosivwe, Charles Onwu, Victor Ngo, Olukayode Adepoju and Molade Fasuyi.
Police carried out raids after being tipped off by BT about the data breach, and group leader Emosivwe, 36, put a USB data stick in his mouth and chewed on it when police arrested him, making it impossible to recover any data.
Prosecutor, Michael Forster said the source of all the data leaks was not known, but there was evidence of phishing emails and officers found textbooks on computer security at Emosivwe’s home.
He said although Paypal had lost the most money from the fraud, BT customers had endured “distress and inconvenience”.
Emosivwe was jailed for 44 months for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation; Charles Onwu, 31, of was jailed for 43 months for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation; Victor Ngo was jailed for 43 months for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to convert criminal property.
Molade Fasuyi, 37, was jailed for two years for committing fraud by false representation and Olukayode Adepoju, 40, was jailed for 19 months for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.