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Diasporian News of Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Ticket Collector In UK On The Run

...Nigerians jailed after £45k scam
London , UK-- CROOKED train ticket collectors who used their machines to issue thousands of pounds worth of rail passes and sell them on the black market have been jailed.

Nana Dapaah, a 30-year-old ticket office worker who lived in Rycroft Road, Lewisham, is on the run after fleeing to Ghana when a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Her Nigerian colleagues were not that "lucky"

South West Trains employees Gregory Akinyode, 40, and Gbadedo Ishola, 43, helped fleece the company of £45,000 during the year-long scam.

The pair used stolen credit cards to buy tickets from their issuing machines before selling them on cut-price to willing buyers they found in pubs.

Both men were working on lines operating out of Waterloo station across South London and Surrey at the time of their arrest in September 2005.

James Norman, prosecuting,said that at least two other members of staff were involved in the swindle.

He said one of them, Nana Dappah, a 30-year-old ticket office worker who lived in Rycroft Road, Lewisham, is still on the run after fleeing to Ghana when a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Mr Norman said: "There are approximately 340 fraudulent transactions that form the basis of the Crown's allegation.

"That works out at around 37 per month during the period of the fraud, so it was prolonged and it was also lucrative."

Akinyode also had a diary listing credit card numbers. When police searched his and Ishola's lockers they found credit cards belonging to other people.

Southwark Crown Court heard father-of-three Akinyode had worked twice for the rail company since 1999.

He is currently employed as a porter at the Trinity Hospice in Clapham Common Road.

Father-of-four Ishola had worked for South West Trains for seven years up until his arrest.

Judge William Wood said Akinyode was responsible for £12,777.25 of the fraud and jailed him for two years on Friday.

He said: "This case has very serious features and involves a prolonged course of criminal conduct in which a number of conspirators working alongside you have caused loss to your employers that was really quite substantial, in the order of £45,000.

"There is no appropriate sentence other than custody for this serious, planned and deeply dishonest offence."

Ishola, who was responsible for transactions worth £2,070 and was involved in the scheme for a shorter period, was sentenced to just nine months in prison.

Akinyode, of Mottisfont Road, Abbey Wood, Kent, and Gbadedo, of Charles Court, Avenue Road, Erith, Kent, admitted conspiracy to defraud South West Trains by issuing rail tickets using compromised bank cards between November 29, 2004 and September 7, 2005.