12 December 2017
A Barclays bank employee has been jailed for six years and four months for his role in a conspiracy to launder over £2.5 million, which had been stolen using Dridex malware.
Jinal Pethad, aged 29, from London, acted as ‘personal bank manager’ to money launderers Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan, setting up 105 sham bank accounts for them using false ID documents.
He managed the accounts to ensure that receipt of the stolen funds was not blocked by the bank’s security processes and that the pair could transfer money between them freely.
Gincota and Turcan were jailed for the conspiracy in October 2016 after an investigation by the National Crime Agency. Pethad was arrested the following month
During a search of his home in Edgware, NCA officers recovered over £4,000 in cash, seven luxury watches and three mobile phones, all of which had been used to communicate with Gincota.
Multiple text messages on one of the phones showed Gincota making arrangements to open new accounts and asking Pethad to change details, such as addresses and security information, on existing ones.
In one of the exchanges Gincota asks, “Can I bring 2 guys for open acc pls??? 1-german; 1-france; or 2-france; who u want? Let me know pls!”
Yesterday at the Old Bailey Pethad pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money between 2014 and 2016. He was sentenced today to six years and four months in prison.
Mark Cains from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Jinal Pethad abused his position of trust at the bank to knowingly set up sham accounts for Gincota and Turcan, providing a vital service which enabled them to launder millions.
“Using his knowledge of the financial system, he made sure the stolen money was not blocked before entering these accounts, and provided the pair with reports to evidence his efforts and maintain the criminal relationship.
“The NCA works with industry and law enforcement partners to target cyber crime at every level. We are determined to disrupt the flow of illegal money to prevent it funding further criminality.”
A Barclays spokesman said: "We have worked with and supported the police with this investigation and welcome the outcome of the proceedings. Barclays has a zero tolerance to any unlawful activity and confirms Jinal Pethad was dismissed by the bank.
"We will always support law enforcement in identifying criminal activity and have no hesitation at all in supporting prosecutions."