A 33-year-old Nigerian has the dubious honour of being the first advance fee fraudster to be jailed in north Wales for the offence of "going equipped to cheat".
Caernarfon Crown Court handed Peter Okoeguale a 20-month sentence for scammming various individuals - including a Scot who he took for £20,000 and a retired US businessman whose wallet is $46,500 lighter as a result of Okoeguale's activities.
Police slapped the cuffs on Okoeguale as he attempted to board a ferry from Holyhead in Wales to the Irish Republic. He was carrying discs containing the email addresses and telephone numbers of thousands of people worldwide, as well as forged documents. One of these was headed "Nigerian Police Force Contract Investigation Section".
Judge John Rogers QC told the 419er: "You had in your possession a substantial amount of equipment and carefully drafted fraudulent documents with the intention that they should be used to fool gullible people not only in this country but wherever you chose to communicate with them. This is international fraud. Only a period of imprisonment is appropriate."
Judge Rogers also recommended that Okoeguale be deported at the end of his sentence, noting: "In addition I'm quite satisfied that given the gravity of this offence it's detrimental to the welfare of the UK that you should remain here." ®