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£10 million 'Ponzi' gang sentenced

27 January 2011 09:10 am - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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An international gang of fraudsters made £10million from targeting a series of victims including Sri Lankan community acorss London, reports revealed. 

The six men were convicted of deception and money laundering offences at earlier hearings for their involvement in a 'Ponzi' fraud which affected a number of different communities across London, but specifically targeted members of the Sri Lankan community.

The court heard how the Metropolitan Police Service Fraud Squad launched an investigation back in 2005 after they received reports from victims who had been duped out of huge sums of money, often their life savings.

The ringleader of the International fraud was Vibhawa Fonseka, who used his family name - which was highly reputable among the Sri Lankan community - to convince people to put money into investments that he promised would make a huge profit. He would then provide documents and contracts to back up the investments and would even pay some interest to the investors to prolong the fraud, attract other investors and squeeze even more money out of his victims over a long period of time.

The money he made was used to fund a luxurious lifestyle - he owned a £1.6 million mansion, designer clothes and jewellery and travelled extensively. He used flash hire cars to give the impression to his investors that their money was safe and that he was doing well - this charade convinced his investors that they too would be able to live this kind of lifestyle once their return was paid to them.

Three others - John Francis Napoli, John Abraham James and Mushtaq Ahmed - were responsible for creating a network of bank accounts in which to launder the proceeds of their crimes - a lot of the funds were laundered abroad. Police believe that they made about £10million over a period of five years and duped about 100 victims into handing over their hard-earned cash.

The remaining two men - Samantha Koralage, aged 38 of Elvin Court, Kingsbury, London and Upul Dezoysa, aged 60, of Long Lane, Ickenham, Middlesex - pleaded guilty to unauthorised deposit taking on 28 September 2010. They are due to be sentenced on Friday 28 February.

Source: MPS

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  Comments - 26

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  • bash Thursday, 27 January 2011 02:55 PM

    MUST GIVE DEATH OR LIFE SENTENCES, THEN IT WILL DISCOURAGE OTHER FRAUDSTERS................. IF NOT THEY WILL LIVE A LUXURY LIFE AFTER SERVING THE SENTENCE, THIS WILL MOTIVATE OTHERS TO FOLLOW

    babu Friday, 28 January 2011 08:53 AM

    No better than members of the UK parliment who legally steals taxpayers money as expenses.

    Thambi Thursday, 27 January 2011 04:48 PM

    The victims should have known, it was too good to be true.
    This is what happens when greed gets the better of you.

    Lawry Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:29 AM

    As long as greedy people are there, fraudsters will be there; As long as poor are there, corrupt politicians will be there!

    the under taker Friday, 28 January 2011 12:18 AM

    SHOULD BE REST IN PIECES IN JAIL

    LondonBuwa Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:52 AM

    our 'great' reputation as sri lankans in london continues...
    deiyo saakki

    Border Patrol Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:53 AM

    WOW... UK Sakviti alias Golden Key........ Bravo...

    MagodisThuma Friday, 28 January 2011 01:22 AM

    Relatives of Sakvithi !.

    Jayanthi Friday, 28 January 2011 10:44 AM

    Makes you wonder who really are the greedy ones...

    Is it the victims or the culprits?

    Like the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...

    karuna Thursday, 27 January 2011 11:06 AM

    Asia's Miracle!

    Thambi Thursday, 27 January 2011 11:15 AM

    Thank Goodness the accused didn't have any Tamil names. Otherwise you lot wouldn't have wasted time saying LTTE behind for all this , that and the others

    Thummulla Junction Friday, 28 January 2011 03:08 AM

    These people are a manace to the good Sri Lankan people living abroad. The British Government must confiscate all their family assets which they bought out of people's money and pay back the innocent depositors who lost their money.

    Banu Friday, 28 January 2011 11:43 AM

    LTTE is still into Scams - that will never end.

    UK Thursday, 27 January 2011 11:59 AM

    I use to play cricket with Samantha and Upul, Samantha use to stay with our cricket captain’s house and his wife use cook meals for him everyday and treat him like a member of there family but he screwed them as well for large amount of money. I knew another person who remortgaged his house and paid them £120,000. These people promise interest rate between 30-40% and pay them cash end of the month for about three months to convince others to invest. They gave me a nice form to fill in as well but I said no thanks. I heard they built few houses in Sri Lanka and send a BMW X5 to Sri Lanka as well recently. Sri Lankan government should confiscate all there assets and pay the poor peoples money back.

    Seniot Citizen Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:15 PM

    Thanbi - a flash of guilt complex of the past when LTTE ran the scams.

    ajith Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:12 PM

    "Srilankan name" is further been black listed.
    Time to come the other countries will not honor the credibility of of Srilankans.
    and will consider as a rouge nation.
    Are the leaders responsible to its peoples action???

    A to Z Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:22 PM

    this happened in UK you £%£"&

    ajith Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:29 PM

    Don't you people in UK and the rest of the world read news in Srilanka???
    Haven't you'll seen the swindlers list with top businessmen to poor pensioner who got plundered by the so called respectable elite business tycoons in Celinco group Golden key,Dadwam mudalali and Sakvithi..... who promised moon and sun to people???

    UK 99 to 05 Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:31 PM

    Another similar scam was introduced in 2002 too. Most of my friends got caught for that trap. I've seen this guy Fonseka, he owns a one bedroom flat in Kingsbury Road.

    Suthra Friday, 28 January 2011 04:17 AM

    I am unfamiliar with the correct spelling, but there is a saying in Buddhism: ‘Sattaya Jayagani’, which ultimately translates as “the truth is most prevalent and will always eventually come out”

    A to Z Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:30 PM

    any where in the world you get people like this, its not only Sri lankans.
    i think its high time people use there brains and invest, u try to make more money without doing any work this is what happens.
    "ITS SIMPLE, YOU HAVE TO WORK TO MAKE MONEY" u cant just deposit it in some place and expect it to grow over night.

    Sammy Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:37 PM

    SL scamsters showing their colours in UK too.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 27 January 2011 12:41 PM

    International Sakviththos!

    Aish-appa Thursday, 27 January 2011 01:11 PM

    Ada Thambee... tamils not necessarily be there to trapped to LTTE :P They pay well for representing them in other faces! Are LTTE supporting NGOs tamils? Wikramabahu is not Tamil as we know. In other way also all tamils are not blood hungry 'L'-TTEs :P Wise people are there! among dumbs :D

    Cobra Thursday, 27 January 2011 01:32 PM

    Where they go some Sri Lankans become famous and Sri Lanka becomes infamous!!!

    SL Thursday, 27 January 2011 01:35 PM

    Karuan for you Ignorance is a bliss!


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