A COURIER diverted mobile phones to a crime gang behind a massive premium rate scam, a court heard.
Rachel Foster, 25, was working as a delivery driver in Sunderland when she passed on the handsets to criminal contacts in the city, the Old Bailey was told.
The gang fooled the mobile phone company O2 into handing out iPhones and sim cards using false names and credit cards, the court heard.
The mobiles were then distributed among criminals who set up their own premium rate international phone lines.
Between January and August 2010, the gang got their hands on more than 900 iPhones and used them to dial their £10-a-minute lines around the clock, pocketing the charge paid by the networks.
Prosecuting, Emma King said that Foster was not involved in the actual fraud but helped the gang get hold of iPhones from O2.
“The defendant was working as a delivery driver the Sunderland area distributing packages containing mobile phones and sim cards from mobile telecommunications provider O2.”
Ms King said Foster diverted seven mobile phones to the gang between April and September 2010.
When one of the gang, Abiola Salami, 30, was arrested, details of deliveries were found on his computer.
These were then passed on to the security division of the courier, who discovered that some of the packages had been done by Foster.
Ms King said Salami’s phone contained text messages asking Foster: “Will I be getting any packages this week? If you know I’m not getting any can you let me know as I’m getting a few days off.”
A day later, he asks: “Any news on the packages?”
Ms King added: “In response to Salami asking for her to deliver to more postcodes, she replied ‘sorry I can’t help you there, any already get has postcodes, and like I said we getting some taken off us as parcel numbers are going up.”
The jury heard Foster admits being paid £30 for each phone she dropped off, but believed that they were being returned to O2.
The prosecutor told the court that Foster normally would only be paid 65 pence for each delivery.
Foster, of Agar Road, Farringdon, Sunderland, denies fraud by abuse of position.
The trial continues.