Grenfell Tower 'survivor' Joyce Msokeri found guilty of fraud

Msokeri claimed to have lost her husband at Grenfell - even though she isn't married

Joyce Msokeri faces jail after being found guilty on several counts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A woman who claimed to have lost her husband in the Grenfell Tower fire faces jail, after being found guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of possessing fraudulent documents.

Joyce Msokeri, 46, posed as a survivor of last summer's inferno and also claimed to have lost her sister-in-law. She used the proceeds from the relief effort to claim designer clothing, food and even a room at the Hilton.

During the trial, the court heard that, in the hours after the blaze, Msokeri visited the relief hub at Notting Hill's Westway Centre - shortly after ringing Sky TV to complain about her service. She continued to make her claims for support, even though she lived miles away from the disaster site in Sutton and didn't have a husband.

She was described as "a very good actress" by the prosecution, and jurors were told she thought herself untouchable.

Detectives from the Met launched an investigation after suspicions were raised about the validity of Msokeri’s claims.

When Msokeri came forward to authorities in the immediate aftermath of the fire, she was assigned family liaison officers. 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.

The scammer 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 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 Msokeri was living at the time of the fire and it was also established that she was not currently married.

She was arrested by officers on suspicion of fraud and later charged on Monday September 4, 2017.

DC 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 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." 

Msokeri has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, 6 April.

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.