|Robinson Agbonifoayetan, pictured, has been jailed after swindling more than £300,000 from two women who thought he was an American diplomat|
A conman has been jailed after swindling more than £300,000 from two women who thought he was an American diplomat. Robinson Agbonifoayetan told his victims he was called Christopher Williams and said he wanted to move to the UK to marry them.
The 32-year-old, from Welling, south east London, used a forged United Nations diplomat card to convince the women to hand over their retirement money during multiple meetings in London. Agbonifoayetan, who promised the money would be reimbursed once he was in the UK, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.
He was jailed for three years at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday.
Police were alerted to the scam after one of the victims became suspicious and contacted officers. The victim, who is in her 60s and lives in Ealing, west London, said she was contacted by a 'General Krulak' on Skype.The court heard he sent photographs of himself pretending to be a solider and built up a strong rapport by speaking to her several times a day.
He paid the victim countless compliments and confided in her about family tragedies, such as his parents and sister dying in a car crash, it was said. The woman subsequently transferred around £260,000 into Ghanaian bank accounts, using up her life savings, pawning jewellery, selling her car and taking out loans to make the payments. She was told it was for the transportation and protection of a box allegedly containing a retirement fund of £8.5million.
Officers arrested Agbonifoayetan on 17 December, 2014, at Heathrow airport as he was trying to flee to Nigeria. They discovered a second victim - a woman in her 50s from Devon - was sold a similar story by a 'General James Raul' and handed over £22,000.
|The 32-year-old used a forged United Nations diplomat card to convince the women to hand over their retirement money during multiple meetings in London, Isleworth Crown Court heard|
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Nick Curtis, of FALCON, said: 'Romance scammers manipulate people, playing on their emotions before extorting them of more and more money. 'Anyone can fall foul of a romance scam, regardless of age or gender. Victims often feel too embarrassed to tell police or a trusted person.
'Sometimes they want to continue believing that the suspect is who they say they are, because the reality of being scammed out of thousands of pounds is too hard to contemplate. 'But I urge anyone who thinks they may have been a victim to report it to police now. 'You may feel that you are betraying someone you love by doing this, but if that person really is who they say they are, they would not be asking you for the money and they would understand your concerns about such requests.'
- Daily Mail