Warrant issued for arrests of two Bradford men

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of two Bradford men.

Adeniyi Aderibigbe, 32, of Loxley Close, Bradford, was sentenced in his absence at Bradford Crown Court on Monday to three years in prison for his part in the importation and distribution of forged traveller’s cheques.

Akanimo Idiok, 28, of Little Horton was sentenced to 21 months in prison also in his absence. A warrant is now out for their arrests.

Them and two other men, Bankole Meroko, 34, of Great Horton and Abiodun Ogunsanya, 26, of Great Horton, were arrested on December 15, 2011, after a police operation at a house on Grantham Terrace, Bradford.

Meroko received 27 months in prison and Ogunsanya received 21 months. A fifth man was found not guilty.

In the build up to the arrests, on December 9, the French authorities at Roissy international airport interecepted a package sent from Nigeria addressed to a ‘M Smith Shopper’ of Grantham Terrace, Bradford. Inside the package were bundles of forged 500Euro traveller’s cheques totalling around £137,000.

Once West Yorkshire Police were made aware of the discovery, an investigation was launched by the Economic Crime unit.

In interview, Aderibigbe admitted that he was Mr Shopper but, along with his colleagues, denied any knowledge of the fraud. They first appeared in Court on November 2 2012.

DI Andy Howard of West Yorkshire Police’s Crime Division said: “This group were charged with conspiracy to defraud after almost £137,000 worth of counterfeit travellers cheques were discovered in France. A further stash of around £60,000 in similar cheques were found inside the Grantham Terrace property when officers made the arrests back in December 2011.

“While we are pleased with the result, we are now actively seeking Idiok and Aderibigbe, who were sentenced in their absence and anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact the police via 101.”