Two members of a Nigerian organised crime group who committed more than £1 million worth of fraud and money laundering after staging a mass phishing con have been jailed.

Emmanuel Mmaduike and Olawale Kashimawo, both 31, spent the money on a lavish lifestyle. They hired a helicopter, drove flash cars and regularly posed for photographs with wads of money, expensive watches and drinking champagne.

Confiscation orders are being pursued against both men, said the National Crime Agency.

The duo’s organised crime group was based in south-east London and obtained thousands of business email addresses and passwords, enabling the group to divert payments due to the companies to themselves.

Mmaduike’s role was to fraudulently access victim email and alter invoices to direct payment to mule bank accounts run by Kashimawo.

Kashimawo subsequently laundered the cash by arranging withdrawals and international bank transfers carried out by other fraudsters.

The pair are believed to have committed more than £1m worth of fraud and money laundering between April 2015 and November 2015.

In March last year Mmaduike, known as Bigdoz, was jailed for six years and 10 months after admitting money laundering, fraud and perverting the course of justice in relation to a sham marriage to a Dutch national.

On Thursday Kashimawo was jailed for six years and nine months at Kingston Crown Court.

He admitted two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering - one relating to his partner Mmaduike and the second relating to OCG accomplices.

“The OCG sent out convincing emails to victims purporting to be from well-known service providers and companies asking them to input their details,” said Tony Adams, head of investigations at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit. “They could then alter payment details.

“UK businesses should exercise caution when authorising significant transactions – particularly if there is a last-minute change of account details.

“If in doubt speak to the intended recipient of the funds on the phone prior to making a large payment. Keep passwords safe and do not use the same passwords for multiple online accounts.

“The NCA and our partners are continuing to tackle business email fraud and money laundering. It is imperative victims report such compromises as soon as possible and retain all evidence.”