Dutch police arrests 52 'Nigerian' spammers
In January, Dutch police have arrested 52 people suspected of large scale
internet fraud with the infamous ‘Nigerian e-mail’ scam.
The scammers sent spam e-mails asking for help in transferring a large sum
of money out of their country (usually Nigeria), in exchange for a
generous percentage. According to an AP news report, the gang had reaped
millions of Euros. A task force of 80 officers raided 23 apartments,
seizing computers, fake passports and 50.000 Euro in cash.
Jan Willem Broekema, board member of the Dutch Data Protection Authority
explained during the OECD workshop on spam that he expected hundreds more
to be arrested in the nearby future, presumably putting a worldwide stop
to the Nigerian scam.
Arrests have been made in several countries in recent years, including
Australia, Canada, and the United States, but the brunt seemed based in
Amsterdam, in a remote high-rise area locally known as ‘Bijlmer’. Six
people, three from Nigeria and three from Benin, were convicted in a
similar case in Amsterdam in May, receiving sentences of up to 4 1/2
years. They had robbed their victims for at least 4 million euros. The
most spectacular victim of the gang, a Swiss professor, transferred almost
half a million euro. The money was necessary to buy chemicals to clean
banknotes with a total value of 36 million US Dollars, the gang told the
gullible professor. He was promised 25% of that amount.
AP – Dutch police arrest 52 in e-mail scam (30.01.2004)