Two men sentenced for selling £56k of illegal Oyster cards

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LONDON: Two men from London have been sentenced for their part in scams selling illegal Oyster cards on social media. Anjum Ali Saiyad, 22, and of Marlborough Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced on February 12 to 12 months in prison, ‘My London’ has reported.

Saiyad came to the attention of the British Transport Police ‘s cyber crime unit in January 2019 after a woman was stopped by a Transport for London bus revenue inspector using a fraudulently obtained concessionary Oyster card in London.

She supplied officers with the bank details of the person she’d bought the card from on social media, and it was traced back to Saiyad. A search of his iPhone showed details of those purchasing the cards, while his bank records indicated he’d profited £12,657.50 from the scam.

In a similar case, Mohammed Essa received nearly £44,000 from applying for 16+ Oyster cards on behalf of members of the public who contacted him via social media and paid money into his bank account.

He first came to the attention of authorities when TfL staff reported catching adults using the cards for discount journeys, gathering vital intelligence for the investigation. Only people aged between 16 and 18 are eligible to use the discounted travel cards. Essa, 20, of Salter Road in Southwark , was tracked down partially due to his advertisements on social media.

A search of his bank records found he had earned £43,763 – and the student had no legitimate excuse for the cash when questioned by police.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud TfL and was sentenced on February 26 to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for the full term, and 200 hours of community service. The sale of fraudulent Oyster cards on social media is estimated to have cost TfL approximately £2 million.