NCA Cyber Crime Unit sentences first offender

The newly formed National Crime Agency launched this week with beefed up cyber capabilities

The National Crime Agency has secured its first conviction following an investigation by the agency's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU).

Launched on Monday as a replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the NCA is being positioned as a single law enforcement agency that will be responsible for leading the national response to organised crime - this covers everything from cross-border criminal networks, cyber-crime, as well as tracking down child sex abusers using the internet to target children.

The NCCU is a combination of the cyber function that was built up under SOCA and the Metropolitan Police's e-crime unit, which was brought in under the NCA's control having built up a strong reputation in recent years.

Olukunle Babatunde, 27, of Croydon, South East London, was sentenced to serve five years and six months at Inner London Crown Court, after pleading guilty to a number of offences including conspiracy to defraud banks, financial institutions and their customers.

He was arrested in connection with an ongoing operation, investigating the distribution of stolen financial data obtained by means of "organised international crime". Babatunde sent out rogue phishing emails in the hope that customers would give up their banking details - which could be sold on the black market or used directly.

The agency has said that if Babatunde had been successful in his phishing operation he could have stolen over £750,000.

Andy Archibald, Head of the NCCU said: "This is an excellent result built on the joint working of precursor agencies and has involved the examination of a large number of data, resulting in 765 victim accounts being identified.

"The National Crime Agency will continue to share information and intelligence with regards to serious and organised cyber crime, ensuring those who pose a threat to the public are identified and held accountable for their actions."

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