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Nigerian Couple in the UK Jailed for Trying to Claim £3.8m in Benefits Scam using 1,400 Identities



Exactly one week ago, BN brought you news of a Nigerian couple that was arrested in the UK for falsely claiming about £43,000 in benefits. The story elicited much fury from readers who were disappointed at the bad image they portrayed about Nigerians abroad.

It is therefore saddening to read news of yet another Nigerian couple arrested in the UK for securing £87,000 from fraudulent claims totalling £3.8million over four years.

Adeola Thomas, 38, and his partner, Abimbola Abiola, 34, managed to pocket £87,000 after using 1,400 stolen identities to complete 2,495 handwritten tax and benefits claims forms.

And just like the other couple that was reported to have lavishly spent the money on a house in Nigeria, the pair spent the money on designer clothing and electrical items including a 50-inch plasma television.

The fraud was discovered when benefits staff at HM Revenue & Customs noticed they had received multiple tax credit claims from the same addresses. Subsequently, an investigation was launched.

Thomas’ hand-written application forms were analysed, computer records were checked, and hours of recorded calls to the Tax Credit Helpline were listened to and a surveillance operation was carried out. The HRMC investigators viewed CCTV footage showing activity outside various North London Post Office ATMs.

Thomas was eventually arrested at a cash point outside a Post Office in Hackney on October 7th last year. He was found to be in possession of 17 Post Office account cards in different names, two mobile phones and two fraudulently completed forms addressed to Jobcentre Plus.

When Abiola was arrested later the same day, she had £4,125 in her handbag. The mother-of-one claimed the money was her child benefit payment.

Daily Mail reports that the pair, who carried out the scam between January 3, 2007 and October 7, 2011, tried to claim £827,000 from HMRC, securing £43,000. They also claimed £3 million from the Department of Work and Pensions and received £44,000.

With Abiola’s help, Thomas used stolen personal details to complete 2,495 handwritten application forms, which were sent to the appropriate departments for processing.

Thomas, who also happens to be an illegal immigrant pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences. Abiola, a Nigerian national with leave to remain in the UK was also found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of criminal property.

They were both sentenced to jail this week. Thomas was sentenced to seven years in jail while Abiola received two-and-a-half years sentence.

The Judge who read his sentence indicated Thomas should be deported after serving his time in the UK.

Below are photos of his arrest when he was trying to withdraw his fraudulent claims at an ATM.

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Egusi

    September 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Talk about taking the piss 1400 identities Jesus take control! Haba you no get paper and you are busy commiting crimes in oyiboman’s country and they did not even use the money for anything tangible busy buying designer clothes, plasma telly and whatnot stupidity at it’s highest!

    • Layo

      September 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Dont mind them. When you dont have papers, shebi you should jeje-ly manage yourself there doing one early morning cleaning or security job??

      I’m tired of nigerians abroad giving the rest of us bad names. I genuinely think that nigerians need deliverance from the spirit of fraudulent activities. I know other countries do fraud but, mehn, naija’s do it the most. Lets be real.

  2. Chattyzee

    September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Na wa ooo. Indeed, every day is for the thief and one day is for the owner. So it’s true what the adage says that if you don’t work for the money, it won’t last in your hands. Imagine them spending that much more on irrelevancies and nothing concrete.
    The person I pity most is the child of the woman, Abiola, I wonder who will watch after the child, I hope she has relatives. Is people such as these that allow foreigners to be “rubbing us with dirt” Mschewwww

  3. Egusi

    September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    These are the kind of people who make it difficult for Nigerians everywhere these days it doesn’t matter that you were born and raised in the UK the fact that your name is nigerian or is enough to raise suspicion even in the most legitimate of claims

  4. detutu

    September 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    this is really sad…they keep potraying nigerians as evil and thieves….only God knows when this would end….smh

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 30, 2012 at 1:03 am

      Pls clarify who keeps protraying Niaja as bad “the media” or the nigerians themselvevs…

      cos this is beyond foolishnesses and rubbishness… scratches my head, innocent people details “robbed and used” oga there is a God that will keep blowing wind to expose the evil deeds under mans eyes… this is terrible news for them and for their family.

  5. Amber

    September 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    See their rugged faces,on top all the money stolen..God have mercy on naija.i keep blaming the government anyway.that’s what they do too

  6. Tunjie

    September 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Ole…Ajibole! Some pple still dont know that there is dignity in labor. How can hold ur head up high when all uve got is by scams? Godliness with contentment is great gain.

  7. faith

    September 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    THese R D ppple DAT give innOCent NigeriAN likke Me bad naMe!…..smjh

  8. habba!

    September 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    nawa ooo! nigerians and fraud scams!! look we r not the only ones that do it! the Brits love to disgrace nigerians!! Russians also do fraud! anyways shaa see how dey arrested him infront of d bank

  9. frieda

    September 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    why why why why why are we just destroying ourselves, why do we have very crazy and selfish sets of citizens in Nigeria that make those of us that want an honest living end up suffering for these TWATS!!!!!!, why must it be always nigerians? this is a very embarassing situation and i think that its high time we started taking serious and positive actions to change the worlds view about NIGERIANS as a whole cos this afeects each and everyone of us. This is getting really bad and not funny at all. Why must innocent Nigerians suffer for these TWATS that have no heart or concience. HABA COMMON NOW ITS NOT THEM CHEATING US IT IS OUR GOVERNMENT FOR GOODNESS SAKES STOP BEING GREEDY AND FOOLISH.

  10. temi

    September 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    oh my lawd!!!!!!!!!!i freaking knw dis guy he is such a big perve nd a stupid man..dat few minutes away frm ma house…i always knew he ws doggy…gud 4 him mehn!!!!!

    • feyi A

      September 30, 2012 at 11:09 am

      i know the woman. she was my junior in secondary school, one of the efikos. am short of words who go know this iwhat she will become. she used her brilliance to establish 1400 identities. na wa!!!!

    • Mariaah

      October 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      OHO!! Appaz Adeola has a perv status in Hackney!! I know him too met him in Dalston when I was looking for a job.. Next thing he’s inviting me to his house for a visit (na true) when he knew I was going to visit him he started asking if he could come to mine. I had to lie I lived with an Uncle and Aunty.. Mofo!! When I changed phone nos, there was no communication between us any more (thk God!!) Then I saw him randomly in Dalston Kingsland Rd (Dalston Market) one day walking with a lady (can’t recall if its this same woman) he totally blanked me (while giving me side eye).. Walked past me like we ve never met before LMAO!! It was too funny that day; thank goodness I didn’t make effort to say hi to him… LOL…..

    • john west

      July 20, 2014 at 3:06 am

      if na other tribe, you people will start runnin your mouths like parrots. i tire for una

  11. chinco

    September 29, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Shame!!! I’m glad they were caught

  12. Ajoke

    September 30, 2012 at 1:26 am


  13. csl

    September 30, 2012 at 2:09 am

    and they still manage to look ratchet……….

  14. Speak Easy!

    September 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I’m sure the UK have strong bars in their jail to keep ’em in. So much audacity!

  15. Gimmer

    September 30, 2012 at 7:35 am

    See why Rolex, Hermes etc ain’t all it’s hyped up to be!

  16. florence

    September 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

    big time disgrace

  17. i no send

    September 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

    na wa..dnt even know wat to say shows that dis fraud matter is both in diaspora and home so when people say naija is this and naija is that i smile…the only difference is that the justice system here works..buh its same mindset for some nigerians wanting to eat without working

  18. ifybabe

    September 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

    So were is all the yoruba’s that are always saying rubbish about Igbos? oya say some thing about this ohhhh.

    • Gimmer

      September 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Sad thing is oyinbo don’t care if you are igbo , Hausa or middle belt…they see us all all as Nigerians. So the next time you go and queue at British commission, siddn there dey say you no be Yoruba Nigerian and see if that helps

  19. purplepearl

    September 30, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Greed….this is the height of it iisshh

  20. Rabi

    September 30, 2012 at 10:08 am

    stop disgracing nigerians home and abroad. very proud and pompous people

  21. Babs

    September 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    How can people be smart and yet be so dumb as well? …sent from the same address *eyes rolling*. The message is clear…let everyone fear GOD

  22. dave

    September 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    upper clapton postoffice ATM…

  23. m.a

    September 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Thank God am not nigerian

    • Toyosi

      October 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Seriously?? Thank God you are not Nigerian? You actually typed that. Hmm..

  24. Kola S

    September 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Perhaps they too want to do £30,000 worth of shopping in London

  25. ktemi

    September 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    She had £4000 on her???? many people don’t make that in a month…and she only gets 2 years!!!think they need to start giving stricter sentences for people that steal mercilessly like them

  26. doyin

    September 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    why are people so stupid? total lack of inspiration and ingenuity, why not use the brain they are using to fraud people and build a good life for themselves the legitimate way…total rubbish..this generation needs help, thinking you can just reap where you didnt sow!! Glad they got arrested!

  27. Diva

    October 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

    its sad how 99% of crimes committed in the UK by Nigerians are committed by YORUBAS. It is sick and sad.

    • omo-ile

      October 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Simple, bcos the most nigerians in london are Yorubas. but only few of then are thieves.

    • john west

      July 20, 2014 at 3:14 am

      omoile don’t think you are smart, there many other tribes in Nigeria that are living in uk, i agreed that yoruba has larger number and are the same time larger number of thieves in there.

  28. alexie

    October 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Woowww, jst wow!!! Dey sure got wah dey deserved

  29. Mariaah

    October 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    OMG!!! Adeola Thomas!! Before I read this gist I KNOW THIS GUY IN HACKNEY!!! WELLA!!! I was looking for a job when we met….. Ok let me read and come back..


    October 4, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Nigerians abroad will never seize to embarrass us because they have a stupid mentality that is hard to wash off, they lack control and they have greed in their possession.

  31. Lulu

    October 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    *FOOLS* U are illegal, still u wont sit your ass in a place! What a shame! I wished they gave them life sentences, that would be a deterent for other lazy nigerians abroad who are looking for easy money*Nonsense*

  32. ronke adeleke

    October 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    some Nigerians are soooooooo thick, they act as if they are smart, how can one make multiple applications at the same address, words fail me, this girl that i share a house with is a bit time fraudster, couple of wks ago, she had a huge delivery of dresses and shoes for her wedding in naija in December, she told me, her fiance had used a credit card to pay for it, the bridemaid dresses were really nice, so were the matching shoes…hmmmm.. i was shocked that she could use a stolen credit card to pay for stuff for her wedding.

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