Four people who ran a £6 million travel agency scam were given a total of 18 years in jail at Southwark Crown Court today.

Christakis Phillippou, 62, of Bark Place, Bayswater was given 7 years. Evangelina Liogka, 38, of Montpelier Place, Knightsbridge was given 3 and a half years.

Timothy Entwisle, 56, of Ludworth, Dorset, was jailed for 3 years.

A co-conspirator, Peter Kemp, 52, who  had already pleaded guilty to the same charges was given four and a half years.

Thet were found guilty of conspiring to defraud thousands of holidaymakers on February 26.

The group set up five separate companies between July 2003 and August 2006, to sell holidays at inflated prices. They pocketed customers’ money before closing down and leaving them empty-handed.

Jurors took just two-and-a-half hours to find the trio guilty. Philippou and Entwisle were found guilty of all five charges, while Liogka was cleared in regards to conspiracy to defraud customers using Onshine Ltd.

Mike Monk, head of financial services at ABTA, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this result.For us it is not only important that they are punished but that it sends out the message that we will prosecute however long it takes.

“I want to pay tribute to the police, Teletext and the CAA for their team work.”

Teletext head of compliance Barry Gooch said: “This is entirely appropriate as the judge said it was a greedy and cynical crime. This decision should send a warning sign to others that we won’t tolerate fraud in the travel industry.”