A grand jury in New York has returned a 10-count indictment against three of Nigerian defendants recently arrested in Holland and an 11-count indictment against a fourth suspect.
Dutch police last month arrested 12 people and confiscated €25,000 in cash, computers and fake travel documents. The suspects are being held by the Dutch authorities pending extradition to the US, where they could face up to 30 years in prison. One defendant, also a Nigerian citizen, is still at large.
Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi (a.k.a Yellowman, Abdul Rahman, Michael Anderson, Edmund Walter, Helmut Schkinger, Nancy White, Jiggaman and Namo), Anthony Friday Ehis (a.k.a John J Smith, Toni N Amokwu and Mr T), Kesandu Egwuonwu (a.k.a KeKe, Joey Martin Maxwell, David Mark) and John Doe 1 (a.k.a Eric Williams, Lee, Chucks and Nago) are charged with one count of conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Anisiobi is also charged with one count of bank fraud.
The victims, mostly Americans, lost more than $1.2m, according to the US Justice Department. "The defendants in this scheme allegedly fleeced many unsuspecting American victims with promises of charitable contributions and personal riches," assistant Attorney General Fisher said. "We cannot allow these scam artists to prey on innocent victims in this country, and we will work across the globe to knock out these fraudulent get-rich-quick schemes."
Unfortunately, that's not so easy. Last week, Dutch private detective company Ultrascan published figures which indicate there are still over 800 alleged 419 scammers working from the Netherlands, suggesting Holland is still the best hidey-hole for Nigerian advanced fraud scammers.
The UK is second with 724 scammers, followed by Spain with over 500 suspects. According to Ultrascan, the numbers only represent "hardcore scammers". The company estimates that in Holland alone at least 1,400 people are somehow involved with these type of scams. ®