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FRAUDSTERS don't sink any lower than Joyce Msokeri, who believed she could make out to be a victim of the Grenfell Tower fire horror – and get away with it.
For a time 46 year old Msokeri did get away with it claiming financial support for all the furniture she said she had lost in the fire and getting emergency funds plus hotel accommodation.
But Msokeri was a liar, a sick liar who used the tragedy for her own ill-gotten gain.
Thankfully the woman who falsely claimed to have been a resident of Grenfell Tower was finally exposed by the police after suspicions were raised about the validity of her claims.
And last month at the Old Bailey the evil woman from Ambleside Gardens, Sutton, got something she didn't expect – a four and a half year prison sentence for three counts of fraud and nine months, to run concurrently, for possession of an identity document with improper intention.
Detectives from the Met launched an investigation after concerns were raised about the validity of Msokeri’s claims.
Msokeri came forward to authorities in the immediate aftermath of the fire and was assigned family liaison officers after she claimed that she was a resident of Grenfell Tower and had lost her husband and sister in law in the fire.
She provided officers with a very detailed account of how her husband had gone to help his sister who was staying on another floor within the tower. She claimed that her husband had given her a wet towel to shield her face and directed her to leave the building and get to safety.
Msokeri stated that she did not see her husband or sister in law again and claimed financial support after saying she had lost all her property during the fire. She was provided with emergency funds and hotel accommodation.
As the investigation developed police noticed clear inconsistencies in Msokeri’s story and after looking into of her movements before and after the fire, found that telephone records showed that she could not have been in or near the Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire.
Officers traced Msokeri’s actual address to Sutton where she was living at the time of the fire and it was also established that she was not currently married and so does not have a husband or sister in law.
She was arrested on suspicion of fraud and charged last September.
Detective Constable Ismail Mattar, the investigating officer, said: “Msokeri’s actions in the aftermath of this horrific event are inexcusable. She claimed falsely that she had lost relatives to make sure she profited from the support intended for the true victims of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
“She went to great lengths to fabricate an elaborate story about her escape from the tower."
Detective Chief Superintendent Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner, said: “The distress and suffering caused to so many that night in June is harrowing. People lost their homes, all their possessions, and tragically their families and loved ones. It is terrible that this individual should try to profit from the pain of others.
“Not only did Msokeri take money, housing and clothing intended for genuine victims, she diverted police resources away from those who most needed it.
“We will continue to use all our powers to investigate anyone who we think is fraudulently profiting from the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.”
Anyone with any information about fraud being committed is asked to contact the team investigating the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower on 0800 032 4539.