Belfast Telegraph

Court hears of iPhone scam targeting Northern Ireland Tesco stores

Tesco stores in Belfast, Newry, Newtownabbey, Lisburn and Ballymena were said to be among those targeted.
Tesco stores in Belfast, Newry, Newtownabbey, Lisburn and Ballymena were said to be among those targeted.

By Alan Erwin

A man allegedly carried out an iPhone-purchasing scam at Tesco stores across Northern Ireland, the High Court has heard.

Onyeka Ajuazim is also accused of targeting Carphone Warehouse in an operation involving the use of fake bank cards.

The 30-year-old, of Little Brights Road in Belvedere, Greater London, was arrested earlier this month at Belfast International Airport.

He faces four counts of fraud by false representation and a further three attempted fraud by false representation on dates between January and March.

Ajuazim is further charged with having three bank cards in other people's names and possessing cannabis when detained on April 4.

Prosecutors said the alleged offences relate to the purchase of iPhone SIM only contracts using bogus details.

Tesco stores in Belfast, Newry, Newtownabbey, Lisburn and Ballymena were said to be among those targeted.

"Six locations have been identified to date, all using different names and addresses, in different parts of Northern Ireland," A Crown lawyer said.

During a bail hearing she contended that the fake cards could be used to buy products or sign up to contracts.

Ajuazim told police he had been asked by an unidentified person to deliver the cards to someone else in Northern Ireland.

It was also disclosed in court that further potential incidents in Cookstown and Lisburn are being investigated.

Defence counsel Sean Mullan said Ajuazim agreed to bring a card over in return for £200 to help deal with cash problems.

"It was in and out, travelling to Belfast, dropping the bank card off and going back to London," the barrister claimed.

Mr Mullan told the court his client previously worked as a warehouse coordinator with online retail giant Amazon.

"He now intends to go to Greenwich Community College to study music," he added.

Adjourning the bail application, Lord Justice Treacy requested more information on the accused's address and employment history.

He pointed out: "On the face of it, this looks like a highly organised activity across numerous districts in Northern Ireland."

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