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31 DEC 2005
From the Satrurday Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC prosecutes 78 over multiple fraud

No fewer than 78 suspects are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission for their alleged involvement in various economic crimes, including two
separate scams valued at N58 million and $15 million respectively.

The suspects, according to Saturday Punch’s investigations, were allegedly linked to
felonies such as stealing, obtaining money under false pretences and conspiracy.

The suspects are among hundreds being investigated over fraudulent acts and are
facing charges at courts in Lagos, Kaduna and Benin.

A senior official of the commission said that 51 of the suspects were facing their charges
in Lagos, 18 in Kaduna, and the rest in Benin, adding that the sums had been recovered
from them.

Our correspondent also learnt that two of the suspects had been convicted but had
gone on appeal. Another EFCC official told our correspondent that the agency had
adopted fast-track prosecution of suspects, to avoid complaints over delayed trial.

Commenting on the matter, EFCC’s Head of Media, Mr. Osita Nwaja, said the agency
would follow due process in the prosecution of the cases, adding that the suspects
would be given the chance to "defend themselves while we produce our own evidence."

25 DEC 2005
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Woman loses $9,200 in Nigerian e-mail scam

by Ian Katz

For Gerri Tennenbaum, it was a "vulnerable moment" when she trusted someone she
thought of as a friend. Now, the victim of an elaborate counterfeiting scheme, she might
be out $9,200, her rental apartment and any hope of getting Hanukkah gifts for her two

A divorced schoolteacher struggling to raise her 9- and 12-year-old boys -- both of
whom are mildly autistic -- Tennenbaum was feeling frazzled in early November by eight
days without electricity after Hurricane Wilma.

She had been chatting online several nights a week for two months with a man who
called himself Eddie Smith, a U.S. citizen working as a geologist and computer
engineer in Nigeria. They met through a dating site and communicated via Yahoo's
instant messenger service about work, life and the possibility of eventually meeting in

On Nov. 2, near the end of a long chat, Smith asked Tennenbaum what seemed to her a
simple favor: If he sent some travelers checks and money orders that he couldn't cash
in Nigeria, could she deposit them into her bank account and send him the cash through
Western Union? She obliged, figuring MasterCard travelers checks and U.S. Postal
Service money orders must be safe.

What she didn't know is that Smith, which is probably not his real name, was cleverly
manipulating her for his gain.

It was an example of an increasingly common scheme in which Nigerian fraudsters
befriend people in dating sites and chat rooms, and persuade them to send cash in
exchange for money orders or travelers checks that turn out to be fake. When the victims
learn that the checks are phony, it's too late, and thousands of dollars have already
been sent to the "friend."

Tennenbaum's bank, Citibank, told her that the $9,200 in checks and money orders she
exchanged there were counterfeit and that she is responsible for repaying the bank.

"I have nothing," said Tennenbaum, 44, who teaches second grade. "I'm a smart
person, but I had a vulnerable moment and got suckered. I thought I was doing
somebody a favor."

Tennenbaum was unable to pay the $930 monthly rent on her apartment on time and
received a note from the manager that she could be evicted. "Every time I come home, I
peek around the corner to see if there is a notice on my door," she said.

Through tears, she added: "I feel like I didn't do my job as a parent because I got
sucked in."

To recoup its losses, Citibank took a direct-deposit paycheck and other money in her
account totaling $1,788, she said.

Though she admits she shouldn't have been so trusting, Tennenbaum also blames the
bank for not recognizing that the money orders and travelers checks she cashed were
fakes. "I'm holding the bag for something the bank should have caught," she said.

Eight days passed before she could see from her account that the checks were not
valid, she said.

In an e-mail, Citibank spokesman Mark Rodgers wrote: "It is unfortunate that Ms.
Tennenbaum was defrauded. However, customers are liable for the soundness of
checks and other instruments that they deposit." If a check is counterfeit, "it is the
customer, not the bank, who is responsible," he said.

Any offer from Nigeria should raise a red flag, said Allen Lowe, an expert on Nigerian
fraud and assistant to the special agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service Miami field
office. "We don't consider all Nigerians to be bad or crooks," but the Internet is teeming
with Nigerian fraudsters, he said.

Typically, they send an unsolicited e-mail promising to pay the recipient millions of
dollars in exchange for parking a larger amount of money in a U.S. bank account. In
these so-called advance-fee scams, the victim is told to pay hundreds or thousands of
dollars before getting the big payout.

But in Tennenbaum's case, greed was not a factor. In fact, Smith worked for two months
to gain Tennenbaum's trust before typing: "can u help me cash money orders baby."

Catching foreign fraudsters overseas is extremely difficult, in part because they never
give their real names, Lowe said.

Cybercrime experts like Lowe say victims are often intelligent and well-educated. That's
little consolation to Tennenbaum, who has Florida certification in elementary, early and
primary education, and in English as a second language.

"I'm not sleeping at all," she said. "I am constantly stressed."

3 DEC 2005
From The Punch ("The Saturday Punch"), a Nigerian

Four foreigners lose $ 18, 800 to ‘EFCC chairman’

Sesan Olufowobi

A man, who allegedly duped four persons of $18,800 by parading
himself as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, has been arrested by operatives of the agency.

Saturday Punch gathered that the 30-year-old man identified as Anslem
Nnabuugha Afam allegedly created a website with EFCC’s logo as well
as the name and pictures of the commission’s Chairman, Mr. Nuhu

Findings by our correspondent revealed that Afam posted a "To whom
it may concern letter" on his site, urging foreign contractors owed by
Nigeria to contact him on a phone number listed on the site to discuss
how they would be paid. He also stated that they would be required to
obtain an EFCC affidavit of claims certificate from the "Lagos State High
Court Commission."

To process the claims and obtain the affidavit of claims, however, the
contractors were required to pay $4, 700 each. It was learnt that at least
four persons fell victim of the scam before he was caught.

An EFCC official told our correspondent that the commission stumbled
on the site and succeeded in tracking him down.

"He had some of his education abroad and I think this gave him some
advantage in knowing how to trick foreigners, especially in the United
States," the official said.

Afam also told interrogators that he had defrauded only four persons so
far, adding that he had not been in the business for long.

Saturday Punch also gathered that the commission was still
investigating his claims to ascertain whether there were more victims,
adding that officials of a Nigerian bank, which the suspect used to
transfer money, were also being questioned.

Head of EFCC’s Lagos Office and Director of Operations, Alhaji Ibrahim
Lamorde, confirmed the arrest and stated that the matter was being

30 NOV 2005
There were a couple of articles on 419 Dutch newspaper
Volksrant recently, here is a short one translated into English
for us by Ultrascan:

Amsterdam Centre of Nigerian Fraud
By our reporter Ferry Haan

AMSTERDAM - Amsterdam is the European Centre for Nigerian gangs
who are scamming hundreds of foreigners out of tens of millions Euros.
To counter act these actions the Amsterdam police reports that they are
setting up a central point where victims can report the crimes that were
committed against them.

Rene van der Wouw, detective for the Amsterdam police states that the
central point will be a great progress in the fight against these criminals.
He acknowledges that the Amsterdam police will not act on every report
they get about these scams. "It is costing us too much capacity,"according
to Van der Wouw.

The police is trying to tackle these gangs via their internet providers,
but those providers have to cooperate in order to get those guys. The
Nigerian gangs are sending thousands of e-mails a day from Amsterdam, in
which they are trying to contact potential victims. Often they are lured
to Amsterdam with promises of loads of gold (and/or money), where they are
then scammed out of their money.

When Dutch people are being scammed, it often happens from Madrid,
another European centre where these gangs operate.

At least once a year the police tries to get several scammers caught,
according to Van der Wouw. With this action the police is trying to
prevent that ‘Amsterdam becomes a free haven’. (for scammers)

Two years ago, 53 Nigerians were caught in Amsterdam. Only one person
was convicted, the rest was free to go ‘home’ (and continue their actions).

American fraud specialist Brian Wizard, is warning that the worldwide
attention for Nigerians is declining. "In the US there used to be 350
detectives working in the anti-fraud field, now the fight against terrorism
is more important," he said.

28 NOV 2005
From The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

Bill wants banks shut for money laundering, 419

Ibanga Isine, Abuja

If a bill seeking the repeal of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act
sails through in the National Assembly, banks and any other financial institutions found
guilty of aiding money laundering and advance fee fraud (419) would be wound up.

Known as the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud -related Offences bill 2005, it also
seeks a 20-year jail term, without an option of fine, for anyone convicted of 419.

It was gathered that the bill, a copy of which was obtained on Sunday by our
correspondent, was sent to the National Assembly shortly after the Bayelsa State
Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was arrested in London over charges of
money laundering.

Section 10 of the proposed law reads, "Where an offence under this bill which has been
committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed on the instigation or
with the connivance of or attributable to any neglect on the part of a director, manager,
secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person purporting to act in
any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, where practicable, shall be
deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished

"Where a body corporate is convicted of an offence under this bill, the court may order
that the body corporate shall thereupon and without any further assurance, but for such
order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal

The bill also wants the courts to be empowered to, in addition to prescribed penalties,
order convicted persons to make restitution to victims of fraud through the payment of
amount equivalent to the loss they sustained.

Where the transaction involves a property, the bill provides that a property of equal
value be retuned to the victim or a person designated by him.

The possession of pecuniary resources or property for which a fraudster could not
account for and which is disproportionate to his known income could be used to
corroborate the testimony of a witness during trial under the proposed law.

Section 7, sub-section 2 (b) of the bill prescribes a 10-year term for persons involved in
laundering of funds.

Persons involved in unlawful transportation of monetary instrument or funds from the
country or outside it, risk 10-year imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 or twice the value of
the amount involved or both.

Also under the bill, a person or persons who with an intent to defraud, produces from a
piece of paper or from any other material, any currency note by washing, dipping and
treating the paper with a chemical substance would be liable to more than 15 years
imprisonment on conviction.

Individuals or institutions involved in the provision of telecommunications or Internet
services are expected to register such businesses with the EFCC and maintain a
register of all fixed-line customers, which may be inspected from time-to-time.

The bill also makes it compulsory for persons involved in electronic communication
businesses or Internet services to obtain the full names, residential or corporate
addresses of their customers.

They must give such information to the EFCC on demand.

23 NOV 2005
From the Associated Press:

NIGERIA: Financial crimes agency returns millions to Brazilian bank

ABUJA, 23 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Nigeria’s financial crimes agency has returned US $17
million to a Brazilian bank - the first installment of $242 million siphoned by scammerls said.

The swin - ch led to the bank’s collapse - marks one of the biggest cases of 419
fraud that government officials have cracked.

Nigeria has become notorious for fraudsters who pitch bogus schemes to entice people
to part with large sums of money in expectation of higher returns. The scams are known
as 419 deals, named for the section of the country’s legal code that forbids such crimes.

On Monday, the head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),
Nuhu Ribadu, made the refund of US $17 million to William Richey, a lawyer
representing the defunct Banco Noroeste of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

"By making this restitution to the victim of the scam we also want to send a strong,
unequivocal message that we will no longer harbour such fraudulently acquired funds
no matter where the victim is," Ribadu said in the statement.

Ribadu said more money recovered from three Nigerians convicted of the scam would
eventually be returned to the bank.

Emmanuel Nwude and Nzeribe Okoli were convicted on Friday by a high court in Lagos
for their role in the scam. Nwude got a 35-year jail term while Okoli was sentenced to 12
years. They are also to forfeit assets worth more than US $121 million.

A third Nigerian, housewife Amaka Anajemba, was convicted in July and jailed for two
and a half years. Anajemba was also ordered by the court to give up cash and assets
of over $48 million, including houses in Nigeria, the United States and Switzerland.

Convictions in the Brazilian bank case represent the government’s most significant
victory against fraud thus far.

Nigerian security agencies have redoubled efforts to combat such scams under
President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has long pledged to tackle the rampant fraud that
flourished in the country’s long period of corrupt military rule.

Prosecutors alleged that those convicted were part of a fraud ring, including
Anajemba’s late husband, that tricked a top official of the Brazilian bank into transferring
funds between 1996 and 2001 into various bank accounts around the world on the
promise he would earn a $13.4 million kickback from a fictitious airport contract.

419 Coaltion Comment: Kudos to the EFCC, it is good to see that
funds are being repatriated in this case. $17 million on the way back,
which is in itself Very significant, of course, leaving $225 million for
future repatriation.

21 NOV 2005
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m scam: Nwude strikes deal, surrenders to EFCC
By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA Four days before an Ikeja high court convicted and sentenced Emmanuel
Nwude to 25 years imprisonment for participating in defrauding a Brazilian, Mr Nelson
Sakaguchi, a whopping sum of US$ 242million between 1995 and 1998, he had
voluntarily surrendered majority of his choice assets, both in Nigeria and abroad, for
total and final settlement of the case.

Vanguard learnt at the weekend that Nwude, last Tuesday, in Lagos, personally signed
a document titled "Settlement Agreement," which ceded to Sakaguchi, all his legal and
equitable rights to the choice assets.

A copy of the agreement made available to Vanguard indicated that the trial judge,
Justice Olubunmi Oyewole substantially premised his judgment on the substance of the
‘settlement agreement’ on forfeiture of the choice assets.

The voluntarily surrendered assets include real estates, a number of expensive cars
and large public quoted shares in a number of blue chip companies.

He signed away his possessions of the assets on November 15, in Lagos when it
dawned on him that he had a very bad case in court and after striking a deal with the
EFCC on the settlement of the case.

While serving his jail term in Lagos prison, he is expected to deliver to Sakaguchi, all
title documents to all the assets voluntarily surrendered by him within a maximum of 15

The ultimatum for the delivery of the titled documents expires November 29, this year,
otherwise the settlement agreement already signed by him would be deemed void.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which prosecuted him in court was the
engineer of the settlement agreement.

According to the agreement, the commission is also expected, in principle, to vet and
okay the agreement especially its compliance within 30 days from the date both parties
(Nwude and Sakaguchi) or their nominees, appended their signatures on the

By implication, EFCC is expected to okay the agreement on the surrender of Nwude’s
assets before December 14, this year.

The surrendered assets are to be disposed off with the proceeds from the sales
exclusively used to settle a judgment debt entered against Nwude and his accomplices
at a Superior Court of the State of California more than two years ago over the US
$242million scam, the biggest single fraud ever in the world.

In the final judgment off-shore, Chief Emmanuel Nwude Odinigwe was ordered to pay
the plaintiffs in the suit including Sakaguchi, Leo Wallace Conchranc and Leo Wallace
Conchranc (jnr) a whopping sum of US$134,277,500.00.

The court also ordered him to pay interest on the principal judgment sum at the rate
of 7% per annum “from the various dates of conversion until November 30, 2004,
amounting to US$74,903,563.00.

In all, Chief Nwude and his accomplices were expected to pay US $209,181,063.00
amounting to N29, 076,167,757.00k (N29billion). Part of the proceeds made from the
sale of his assets is also expected to be used to pay the legal fees incurred in a
separate action commenced against him (Nwude) and his accomplices before the
English high court of justice, Chancery division over the same US$242million scam.

Probably because Nwude was not operating as a one-man-squad, Sakaguchi is
demanding from him a total sum of US$120,000,000.00 as final and total settlement
of the case made against him.

19 NOV 2005
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m scam: Nwude, Okoli jailed 37 years
By Wahab Abdulah, Gabriel Onyeaku & Faith Ifediora

Two of the three suspects charged for defrauding a Brazilian Bank of 242 million dollars
said to be the biggest scam in history, Chiefs Emmanuel Nwude and Nzeribe Okoli
were yesterday sentenced to a combined prison term of 37 years.

They are also to forfeit 110 million dollars to the Brazilian bank and pay 11.5 million
dollars to the Federal Government. Chief Nwude bagged 25 years while Okoli will
spend the next 12 years behind bars. The third accused person, Mrs Amaka Anajemba
had avoided trial by pleading guilty to the amended charges and was immediately
sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in July this year.

The duo were found guilty on all the 11 offences they were charged with. The terms are
to run concurrently. The convicts changed their plea to guilty after initially pleading not
guilty. They impressed the trial judge who commended them in his judgement.

Chief Nwude, Mrs Amaka Anajemba and Chief Okoli alongside their four companies
were arraigned before an Abuja High Court in 2004 for swindling a Brazilian bank,
Banko Noroeste S.A. of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Later, the Abuja High Court rejected the case on the ground that it had no jurisdiction
before it was transferred to Lagos High Court presided by Justice Joseph Oyewole.
The matter dragged for over one year with various applications filed by the accused
persons to frustrate the trial.

Delivering judgement, Justice Oyewole convicted them and their companies. They are
also to forfeit their property, including houses and vehicles. Justice Oyewole in his
judgement held: "I have duly considered the submissions of counsel and I must
commend the candour, wit and erudition displayed. This is in line with the best tradition
at the bar. In imposing sentence on the accused persons, the court has noted the fact
that in changing their pleas, valuable time and resources are being saved and is
evidence of remorse and common sense, a point appreciated by the prosecution as
reflected in the present amended charges."

"A balance must however be arrived at by the court in ensuring that not only is the
financial element which induces and motivates this class of offences is taken care of,
but also impose sanctions that would signpost to society that crime does not pay and
that certain conducts are simply not acceptable."

It is indeed sad that the activities of the accused persons not only led to the collapse of
a bank in a foreign country but also brought miseries to many innocent people."

He subsequently read his sentences attached to each charge.

The principal victim of the fraud, Mr. Nelson Sakagushi, a director of the Brazilian bank
who was in Nigeria in an attempt to give evidence in the case expressed satisfaction
with the way the case was concluded by the court. He said "I never doubted the integrity
of the court in Nigeria and I am happy that justice was done in the case."

Also, counsel in the case, including that of the defence Mr Ricky Tarfa, (SAN), hailed
the court sentence, stating that "it’s a well written judgement."

In his allocutos to the court, Tarfa, said his client was a first offender , who has no criminal
records and that he was sick while having children and aged parents. He urged the
court to temper justice with mercies in its sentence.

Here is the URL of this article for as long as it is good:

**The Nigerian newspaper The Guardian, also covered this story:

Court jails convicts 37 years in biggest fraud
By Mustapha Ogunsakin

THE much-celebrated $242 million fraud trial against a Brazilian Bank, perpetrated by
some Nigerians, came to an end yesterday as a Lagos High Court sentenced the two
accused persons (now convicts) to a total of 37 years' imprisonment.

Besides, the convicts, Chief Emmanuel Nwude and Chief Nzeribe Okolo are to forfeit a
total of $121.5 million, including all their known property, both home and abroad, to the
victims of the fraud (the Bank) and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It was indeed a trial full of intrigues, which spanned one and a half years. For one full
year, the convicts stalled the trials; changed counsel for about five times; a senior
advocate of Nigeria walked out of court with a bomb scare that threw the whole of the
high court complex, Ikeja into pandemonium on September 13, 2005.

On July 16, 2005 the third accused person, Mrs Martina Amaka Anajemba pleaded
guilty to the charges against her. She forfeited N32 billion both in cash and assets, and
was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment.

The convicts created a lot of unpleasant dramas and intrigues that were maturedly
handled by the trial judge, Justice Joseph Olubunmi Oyewole.

The convicts however started getting jittery when on September 13, an employee of
United Bank of Africa (UBA) Mr. Oludayo Ogunleye was expected to give evidence in
court about their transaction with the bank.

During the bomb scare in the court premises, the witness was abducted and the exhibits
he was to tender in court were tampered with.

The bomb scare is currently being investigated by a tribunal of inquiry set up by Lagos
State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu with Justice Adebola Adefope-Okojie as the
tribunal chairman. The police authorities had also conducted a similar investigation.

By September 25, an Indian businessman, Mr. Naresh Asnani, standing as a witness,
told the court how he assisted Nwude to launder $127 million through various banks in
Nigeria and abroad.

The last straw that broke the will of the accused however, was the appearance in court
of the former Managing Director of Banco Noroaste Sa, (the bank that was duped), Mr.
Nelson Sakaguchi. They could not believe, in their wildest imagination, that the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would be able to bring Sakaguchi
to Nigeria.

Subsequently, a plea bargain situation was reached with the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi
Jacobs wherein they agreed to plead guilty for a light sentence in addition to forfeit all
their known assets.

In delivering his judgement yesterday, Justice Oyewole said: "A balance must be
arrived at by the court in ensuring that not only is the financial element, which induces
and motivates this class of offences taking care of but also imposes sanctions that
would sign post to society that crime does not pay and that certain conduct is simply not

He continued: "It is sad that the activities of the accused persons not only led to the
collapse of a bank in a foreign country but also brought miseries to many innocent

Justice Oyewole thereafter sentenced the first accused (Nwude) to a total of 25 years
imprisonment on a five-count charge.

Nwude is also to forfeit $110 million to the affected bank, forfeit all his assets - property,
cars, shares and money in bank accounts to the victims. He and his companies are
also to forfeit $11.5 million to the Federal Government after which they will wound up.

Okolo was also sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment in addition to forfeiture of all his

**The Nigerian newpaper ThisDay also covered this story:

$242m Scam: Nwude pleads guilty, bags 25 yrs jail term
By Abimbola Akosile,

With the clear words, "I am guilty," uttered by Chief Emmanuel Nwude and his
accomplice, Mr. Nzeribe Edeh Okoli, trial ended yesterday and judgment was passed
by an Ikeja High Court judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole in a $242 million advance fee
fraud (a.k.a. 419) case involving fraudulently obtained from a Brazilian banker, Mr.
Nelson Sakaguchi over a three-year period, from April 2, 1995 to January 20, 1998.

Nwude, (a.k.a Paul Ogwuma Odinigwe) 1st accused person, Okoli (3rd accused), Emrus
(Nig.) Ltd., Ocean Marketing Co. (Nig.) Ltd. and African Shelter Bureau (Nig.) Ltd. (5th-7th
accused), pleaded guilty to an amended 12-count charge filed yesterday by Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a plea-bargain move that saw the accused
persons receiving 25 years and 12 years jail terms respectively and varying fines for the
companies. The sentences are, however, to run concurrently from day of incarceration.

The 1st accused, who was first arrested June 4, 2003, was ordered to refund $110 million
to Banco Noroeste, and forfeit 14 properties (located in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Anambra,
Rivers, and England), six choice cars and over 100 million shares in banks and various
companies in Nigeria. Okoli (arrested on January 20, 2004) is to forgo an uncompleted
filling station, residential complex and all landed properties located at 6, Ocean Avenue,
Nkpokiti, Enugu State; while the three companies (Emrus, Ocean Marketing, and African
Shelter Bureau) are to be winded up after refunding $11.5 million to the Federal

The judgment is coming 15 months after accused persons were first arraigned in a de
novo trial before Justice Oyewole on July 23, 2004, following an Abuja High Court's
dismissal of the previous 86 count charge brought against them for lack of jurisdiction
(offences were committed within Lagos jurisdiction). Eminent lawyers like Chiefs Alex
Izinyon (SAN), G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN) and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) had appeared earlier
and brought several applications on behalf of Nwude. Late Chief Rotimi Williams (SAN)
(who briefly represented Amaka Anajemba), and Chief Chris Uche, who facilitated a
plea, bargain for her.

When the matter came up yesterday morning, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, lead prosecution
counsel, informed court of an amendment in the previous 91-count charge filed against
the accused persons. There was no objection to the new 12-count charge from Mr.
Rickey Tarfa (SAN) lead defence counsel to Nwude and Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana,
Okoli's counsel; after which the judge adjourned briefly to his chambers with all counsel
to deliberate on the new dimension.

At 10.50am, when hearing resumed, Jacobs applied that the new charge be read to the
accused persons, with again no objection from defence counsel. In a reading which
spanned 25 minutes (11.15am), Nwude, who sported an ash coloured two-piece kaftan,
pleaded guilty to every charge read to him by the court registrar, Mrs. Rosulu; a move
which was copied by Okoli (who wore a navy-blue suit on a white shirt). Both accused
also pleaded guilty on behalf of their companies when the charge was read to 5th - 7th

Jacobs thereafter sought to present enough evidence before the court to convict
accused persons, tracing the history of the fraud from March 20, 1995, when Sakaguchi
(who was in court all through yesterday's proceedings) was contacted by letter for a
contract, using Okoli's phone line to send a fax; after which regular contact was made by
Nwude and late Christian Anajemba to obtain various sums of money from the victim on
false pretence, allegedly to settle tax on a Federal Government contract award for
construction of Abuja International Airport.

Justice Oyewole, who convicted the accused persons after listening to Jacob's
submissions, listened to the allocutus from Tarfa and Ogunlana (defence counsel)
before rising for one hour, ten minutes to deliver his judgment and sentence on the
convicts. Though he was urged to temper justice with mercy, Oyewole insisted that a
balance must be struck between the plea for mercy and need for a deterrent for would-
be scammers. The judge thereafter sentenced Nwude to 5 years imprisonment for each
of the five counts against him (counts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5), while Okoli was sentenced to 4 years
for each of the three counts preferred against him (counts 1, 6, & 7), which are to run

Trial began October 5, 2004 in the matter, where six prosecution witnesses out of 28
(both local and foreign) have testified so far in court, in a de novo (fresh) case in which
trial judge favours accelerated hearing. However, both Amaka Anajemba (Mrs.) and
Fynbaz (Nig.) Limited (2nd & 4th accused respectively), initially charged alongside other
suspects, pleaded guilty to a fresh 4-count charge on July 15, and were subsequently
sentenced to prison terms and fines, with their names deleted from an amended
information filed by the prosecutor, EFCC.

Anajemba was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment, and the said sentence
to commence from January 30, 2004, when she was first remanded in prison custody. In
addition to her prison sentence Justice Oyewole also ordered that numerous valued
assets of 2nd accused person, both local and foreign, which value exceeded N3 billion
and $25 million respectively, be forfeited to the victims of the said fraud named in the
charge, as restitution.

First arraigned in Abuja on February 4, 2004, accused persons, in an 86-count-charge,
were alleged to have defrauded Sakaguchi of $242 million from April 2, 1995 to January
20, 1998 at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, contrary to Sections 1(1)(a) and (3) of the Advance
Fee Fraud Act of 1995 as amended by Act 62 of 1998. Amount obtained was to
represent payment due to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the alleged contract
No. FMA/132/ 019/82 for construction of Abuja International Airport, Nigeria. Penalties for
each of the counts range between 5 - 10 years.

Sakaguchi, star prosecution witness in the case, who first appeared in court on
Tuesday, November 15, yesterday hailed the court judgment on the grounds that it has
vindicated him after all the years of derision and public odium heaped on him by the
bank's shareholders and prosecutors.

** 419 Coalition extends our thanks to the EFCC for all their
hard work in the long haul of bringing these high level 419ers
to Justice. We trust that the seized monies and assets of the
419ers will be distributed to their victim(s) forthwith.

16 NOV 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m Scam: Sakaguchi, duped Brazilian, appears in court
By Abimbola Akosile

Trial in a $242million advance fee fraud a.k.a. 419 scam, took a new dimension in an
Ikeja High Court presided over by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole yesterday, when
prosecution's principal witness, Mr. Nelson Sakaguchi, a Brazilian and director in Banco
Noereste Brazil, appeared in readiness to give evidence in the year-old trial. However,
barring any last-minute change, he will do so on Friday, November 18, next adjourned

Sakaguchi, a white, chubby, brown-haired man who sported a black suit on white shirt,
was brought to court in a five-vehicle convoy of bullet-proof jeeps by officials of
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and heavily-armed mobile
policemen in a tight security cordon, which surrounded the Ikeja courtroom while
yesterday's proceedings were going on.

The star witness was allegedly duped of $24.2 million by three Nigerians including Chief
Emmanuel Nwude (a.k.a Paul Ogwuma Odinigwe) 1st accused, Mr. Nzeribe Edeh Okoli
(3rd accused), Emrus (Nig.) Ltd., Ocean Marketing Co. (Nig.) Ltd. and African Shelter
Bureau (Nig.) Ltd. (5th-7th accused) between 1995 and 1998 through a complicated wire
transfer system involving both local and foreign banks and some foreigners.

However, both Amaka Anajemba (Mrs.) and Fynbaz (Nig.) Limited (2nd & 4th accused
respectively), initially charged alongside above suspects, pleaded guilty to a fresh 4-
count charge on July 15, and were subsequently sentenced to prison terms and fines,
with their names deleted from an amended information filed by the prosecutor, EFCC.

When the matter came up before Justice Oyewole yesterday morning, Chief Olisa
Agbakoba, SAN, lead defence counsel for Nwude, was again absent in court (which led
to an adjournment last week), although Mr. Rickey Tarfa, SAN, announced appearance
for the 1st accused and sought court leave for some time to allow him acquaint himself
properly with the matter; which prompted the court to grant a 30-minute recess.Although
Agbakoba was earlier scheduled to cross-examine Mr. Naresh Asnani, an Indian
business-man (PW6) who allegedly helped Nwude launder around $127 million through
his bank accounts, both Tarfa and Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana (Okoli's counsel) declined to
cross-examine Asnani despite his previous lengthy testimony. Lead prosecution
counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs thereafter called upon Sakaguchi as the next witness,
though the matter could not go on since he (Jacobs) told court he needed two days to
confer with his star witness.

Sakaguchi, on a business trip to Nigeria in 1994, was allegedly introduced to the
accused, by his friend Dr. Hakim Ukeh, an Enugu-based businessman. Two of the
suspects allegedly claimed that they control the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Nwude,
a major shareholder at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, posed as Mr. Paul Ogwuma, then
Governor of CBN, while Amaka's husband, Ikechukwu Anajemba posed as Alhaji
Mahey Rasheed, who was the CBN Deputy Governor in charge of foreign operations in

The unsuspecting Brazilian was deceived into believing that the suspects won a
contract in Nigeria and was asked to send money to facilitate the supposed contract,
which was done in 8 installments, beginning with a first installment of $1.2 million on
August 9, 1995 and last payment of $1.35 million in 1998.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

15 NOV 2005
From WBAL TV News, NBC Channel 11, Baltimore MD:

TOWSON, Md. -- You've won thousands of dollars and you have a check to prove it, but
are you the target of a scam?

Maryland, 46 other states and Western Union hope a new initiative will end scams run
by people in foreign countries. The goal is to protect senior citizens and others who fall
prey to false lottery notifications and money schemes.

It's considered a $40 billion a year problem -- consumers losing money they sent to
fraudulent telemarketers and scam artists. Now, in an agreement between Western
Union and 47 state attorneys general, customers will be warned before they wire money.

Attorney General Joseph Curran said Maryland was part of a multi-state investigation of
telemarketing fraud. The investigation found nearly 40 percent of all telemarketing
transfers that went to Canada were fraudulently induced. It also found of those
telemarketers who are dishonest, 8 out of 10 of their victims were seniors.

Sandra Hubbell received confidential letters from Nova Management and Payment,
Inc., of Nova Scotia telling her she was the winner of $100,000 in a lottery. She even
received a check for $3,600.

The catch: she had to deposit the check into her bank account. It would then be used to
pay for processing and surcharges. She became suspicious.

"Not to mention I don't even remember entering a sweepstakes," Hubbell said.
"According to the letter, it was 2 or 3 years ago I entered and they are just getting around
to sending me my money."

Her bank found the check was bogus. She worries about seniors who may get similar
letters or phone calls and then open up their bank accounts or send money transfers out
of the country.

"It's terrible how people can prey on other people, especially the elderly," Hubbell said.
"It's sad."

But Hubbell is glad there's an effort to prevent the fraud. Western Union will spend $8.1
million on a national consumer awareness program for seniors and post warnings to
customers. The company will block transfers if fraud is suspected and fire any of its
agents who assist in fraud.

According to Western Union, customers who wire money and then think they are being
scammed can stop the transaction and get reimbursed as long as the wire transfer has
not been picked up on the other end. On the company's Web site, Western Union
president Christina Gold said, "Consumer fraud is an issue we take very seriously."

Here is the URL for as long as it is good:

9 NOV 2005
This is an Op-Ed piece by Professor Niyi Akinnaso, who
teaches Anthropology and Linguistics in the United States,
which was published in The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper.
We thought it was an excellent piece, so we've put it up:

Yours sincerely, 4-1-9
By Niyi Akinnaso

I recently received the 100th and 101st letters from 419 fraudsters and I thought I should
share them with the general public, partly because of the names mentioned in the letters
and partly because of what the letters reflect about the fraudulent activities perpetrated
by Nigerians.

In each of the recent con letters, a purported close relative of a now infamous Nigerian
approached me about a lucrative business deal, involving plenty of money. One of the
fraudsters goes by the name Mariam Abacha and the other by the name Olatunde A.
Balogun. These, of course, should be understood as the assumed names of the
fraudsters rather than their real names. The former claims to be the widow of "General
Abacha the former head of state of Nigeria", while the latter introduced himself as "the
first son of the Former Inspector General of Police" who is "still under the custody of
Investigation that was set up by the Federal Government to investigate his financial

At first, the two messages looked very different, judging by the subject title and opening
salutation. Mariam's message is titled "In good faith" and opens with "Dear Beloved." I
first thought it was one of those evangelical messages of the type you are requested to
circulate to at least three people. On the other hand, the subject title of Olatunde's letter
is "Business Proposal" with "Dear Friend" as the opening salutation. However, upon
reading both messages in full, I discovered several shared features characteristic of
classical 419 letters.

First, both con letter writers contacted me via e-mail. I must add that I have also received
numerous con messages via telephone and fax. Just a few days ago, some fraudster
left a message on my phone, confirming that my check has been cleared by the Central
Bank and that I should contact him about the procedure for clearing it.

Second, the writers parade themselves as close relatives of some wealthy public figure.
As mentioned above, one of the present writers is a wife and the other a first son of the
wealthy person in question. These are excellent qualifications to convince me that both
writers should have access to information about their relatives and, therefore, they
should know what they are talking about.

Third, the relative and public figure represented by the fraudster is either dead or in
serious trouble. So, the late General Abacha and the indicted former Inspector General
of Police are good candidates, because neither could access his money. Since the
federal government has been going after the money, it makes sense that close relatives
would want to move some of it elsewhere to avoid seizure.

Fourth, each wealthy relative has millions of dollars kept somewhere, which the con
relatives want me to receive and keep on their behalf. Mariam explains why she wants
me to keep the money for her: "I have lost confidence with anybody within my country. I
got your contacts through personal research." Moreover, "due to security network
placed on my daily affairs I can't visit the embassy so that is why I have contacted you."
Olatunde's reason is explicitly business-related: "I want you to do us a favour to receive
this trunk box and lodge the cash into a safe account in your country or any safe place
as the beneficiary. We have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and
industrial production."

Fifth, the money in question has been kept in a safe place, still unknown to the
government. Mariam assures me: "My husband deposited $12.6 million dollars with a
security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now till we communicate." Olatunde
said of his father: "Before his arrest, he had a trunk box containing cash deposited in a
security vault in London up to the tune of $20M US Dollars."

Sixth, I will have a share of the total sum of money involved; exactly 20 per cent in each
case. So, I will make $2.52 million from the transaction with Mariam and $4 million from
the one with Olatunde. A total sum of $6.52 million or N912.8 million. However, the
procedure for getting the money into my account is quite intricate. Consequently, neither
fraudster would tell me via the present e-mail address.

This leads to the seventh shared characteristic of both letters. Both writers promise to
provide further details about the transaction only after I have indicated my willingness to
play along by responding to another private e-mail address. Mariam's private address
is hajiamimi@yahoo.com, while Olatunde's is olatundebalogun000@yahoo.com. In my
response, Mariam also wants me to supply my telephone and fax numbers. I guess
Olatunde will request them later.

Although I never responded, and will never respond, to any 419 letter, I know a little bit
about what might happen if I agreed to honor the fraudsters' solicitation. From various
published accounts on 419, my bank account number would be needed so the money
could be transferred there. If I express doubts about the funds being transferred, some
fake documents may be sent to me (usually by fax) to authenticate the overseas
account claimed by the fraudsters. I would be required to send some money for
processing the transaction. Sometime down the road, complications may arise that
inevitably would require me to send more and more money to save the venture. At the
end of the day, my money would have gone to the fraudsters but no money would have
come to me from them. And my bank account would have become insecure!

The fraudulent scheme just described above is known in the United States as "Advance
Fee Fraud" Scheme, named after the advance fees often demanded from fraud victims.
The same scheme is often referred to as "The Nigerian Connection" in Europe, thus
highlighting the presumed country of origin of the scheme. However, both in Nigeria and
abroad, the scheme is generally referred to as 419, after the relevant section of
Nigeria's criminal code. Although such a scheme has been found to originate from other
West African countries and con collaborators abroad, it is generally associated with

Indeed, as recently as August 7, 2005, Dulue Mbachu of the Associated Press went as
far as pinpointing an area of Lagos where fraudsters plan and hatch their plots. This is
how Mbachu puts it: "Lagos, Nigeria - In Festac Town, an entire community of scammers
overnights on the Internet. By day they flaunt their smart clothes and cars and hang
around the Internet cafes, trading stories about successful cons and near misses, and
hatching new plots."

There are many lessons about Nigeria and Nigerians to be learned from the 419
scheme. First and foremost, the scheme is symptomatic of a broad range of fraudulent
practices associated with Nigeria as a nation and some Nigerians at home and abroad.
These fraudulent practices range from bribery and corruption, money laundering, credit
card fraud, and illicit drug trade to examination fraud, falsified credentials, and rigged
elections. These are the practices that have earned Nigeria the bad reputation of a
corrupt nation, a stigmatisation that continues to affect trade, diplomatic, and other
relations with Nigeria.

The two 419 letters analysed above are particularly significant because they highlight
allegations of corruption in two high places, namely, the police and the presidency.
Although he has not been convicted of any crime, Tafa Balogun, the former Inspector
General of Police, is facing numerous charges of corruption involving billions of Naira.
By the same token, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, a former Head of State, is said to have
laundered huge sums of money through United Kingdom (UK) and Swiss banks, some
of which was recently returned to Nigeria. Mariam and Olatunde, the present fraudsters,
are capitalising on these well known cases.

Finally, these celebrated cases also remind us of other contemporary allegations of
fraud. These include the National Identity Card Project fraud involving a former Minister
of Internal Affairs; the bribe-for-budget scandal, involving a former Minister of Education
and several Senators; the 14 billion Naira fertilizer scam, involving at least a Minister
and a Senator; the ongoing money laundering case involving a state Governor; the
recent disclosure by the Central Bank of 99 cases of bank fraud and forgeries involving
N733.74 million; and the notorious forgeries associated with Oluwole market in Lagos.

It would be unfair, of course, not to acknowledge the anti-corruption work of the present
administration, which heightened recently in response to pressure from G8 leaders and
the Paris Club. While this effort is leading to various revelations of fraud, two important
questions remain. First, what happens to the money being recovered? Second, will the
present effort curb corruption any better than previous government efforts, such as
Shagari's Ethical Revolution and Abacha's War Against Indiscipline and Corruption?
Whatever the answers may be to these questions, it is at least refreshing to hope that
Nigeria's political culture of corruption will change for the better.

20 OCT 2005
From the Los Angeles Times:

Nigerian Cyber Scammers

To the cyber scammers in Nigeria who trawl for victims on the Internet, Americans are
easy targets. But one thief had second thoughts.

By Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer

FESTAC, Nigeria: As patient as fishermen, the young men toil day and night, trawling for
replies to the e-mails they shoot to strangers half a world away.

Most recipients hit delete, delete, delete, delete without ever opening the messages that
urge them to claim the untold riches of a long-lost deceased second cousin, and the
messages that offer millions of dollars to help smuggle loot stolen by a corrupt Nigerian
official into a U.S. account.

But the few who actually reply make this a tempting and lucrative business for the boys
of Festac, a neighborhood of Lagos at the center of the cyber-scam universe. The
targets are called maghas - scammer slang from a Yoruba word meaning fool, and
refers to gullible white people.

Samuel is 19, handsome, bright, well-dressed and ambitious. He has a special flair for
computers. Until he quit the game last year, he was one of Festac's best-known cyber-
scam champions.

Like nearly everyone here, he is desperate to escape the run-down, teeming streets, the
grimy buildings, the broken refrigerators stacked outside, the strings of wet washing. It's
the kind of place where plainclothes police prowl the streets extorting bribes, where
mobs burn thieves to death for stealing a cellphone, and where some people paint
"This House Is Not For Sale" in big letters on their homes, in case someone posing as
the owner tries to put it on the market.

It is where places like the Net Express cyber cafe thrive.

The atmosphere of silent concentration inside the cafe is absolute, strangely
reminiscent of a university library before exams. Except, that is, for the odd guffaw or
cheer. The doors are locked from 10:30 p.m. until 7 a.m., so the cyber thieves can work
in peace without fear of armed intruders.

In this sanctum, Samuel says, he extracted thousands of American e-mail addresses,
sent off thousands of fraudulent letters, and waited for replies. He thinks disclosure of his
surname could endanger his safety.

The e-mail scammers here prefer hitting Americans, whom they see as rich and easy to
fool. They rationalize the crime by telling themselves there are no real victims: Maghas
are avaricious and complicit.

To them, the scams, called 419 after the Nigerian statute against fraud, are a game.

Their anthem, "I Go Chop Your Dollars," hugely popular in Lagos, hit the airwaves a few
months ago as a CD penned by an artist called Osofia:

"419 is just a game, you are the losers, we are the winners.

White people are greedy, I can say they are greedy

White men, I will eat your dollars, will take your money and disappear.

419 is just a game, we are the masters, you are the losers."

"Nobody feels sorry for the victims," Samuel said.

Scammers, he said, "have the belief that white men are stupid and greedy. They say the
American guy has a good life. There's this belief that for every dollar they lose, the
American government will pay them back in some way."

What makes the scams so tempting for the targets is that they promise a tantalizing
escape from the mundane disappointments of life. The scams offer fabulous riches or
the love of your life, but first the magha has to send a series of escalating fees and
payments. In a dating scam, for instance, the fraudsters send pictures taken from
modeling websites.

"Is the girl in these pictures really you?? I just can't get over your beauty!!!! I can't believe
my luck!!!!!!!" one hapless American wrote recently to a scammer seeking $1,200.

The scammer replied, "Would you send the money this week so I may buy a ticket?"

"Aww babe. I don't have the money yet. I will get it, though. Don't you worry your pretty lil
head, hun," the victim wrote back.

The real push comes when the fictional girlfriend or fiancee, who claims to be in
America, goes to Nigeria for business. In a series of "mishaps," her wallet is stolen and
she is held hostage by the hotel owner until she can come up with hundreds of dollars
for the bill. She needs a new airline ticket, has to bribe churlish customs officials and
gets caught. Finally, she needs a hefty get-out-of-jail bribe.

The U.S. Secret Service estimates such schemes net hundreds of millions of dollars
annually worldwide, with many victims too afraid or embarrassed to report their losses.

Basil Udotai of the government's Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group said 419 fraud
represents a tiny portion of Nigerian computer crime, but is taken seriously by
authorities because of the damage it does to the country's reputation.

"The government is not just sitting on its hands," he said. "It's very important for the
international community to know that Nigeria is not glossing over the problem of 419. We
are putting together measures that will tackle all forms of online crime and give law
enforcement agencies opportunities to combat it."

Asishana Okauru, acting director of financial intelligence for the government's Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission, said $700 million relating to 419 crime had been
seized in the two years since the establishment of the EFCC. There have been 12
convictions in such cases brought during that time, he said. Okauru said he felt this was
a good result given the sluggishness of Nigeria's legal system, but critics say the courts
are too slow and corrupt.

Nigerian authorities, extremely sensitive about 419 crime, say the scammers are mostly
from other countries, and that any Nigerians who participate do so because of high
unemployment and, above all, the greed of victims.

When Samuel, at age 15, sat down in a cyber cafe and started drilling away at the
keyboard, he had no idea he was being watched by one of Festac's cyber-crime
wizards. After noting Samuel's speed and skill, the crime boss, nicknamed Shepherd,
invited him to his mansion to try extracting e-mail addresses using search engines.
Then, to make Samuel feel special, he took him shopping for designer clothes.

"He's fun to be with. When you're around him he makes you feel you have no
problems," Samuel said. Shepherd hooked him with the same bait he uses for maghas.

"He said every hour I spent online I could be making good money," Samuel recalled.
"He said, 'The houses I own, I got it through all this.' And they're not just ordinary houses.
They're big, made of marble. He's got big-screen TVs, a swimming pool inside. He
lives like a prince. He's the biggest guy in this town."

A teenager who didn't really know about the scams, Samuel was "a bit confused" when
Shepherd offered him 20% of the take. "But I looked at everything he had, and it got into
my head, actually. The money he had, the cars."

Eager to impress his new boss, Samuel worked for six-hour stretches extracting e-mail
addresses and sending off letters that had been composed by a college graduate also
working for Shepherd.

He sent 500 e-mails a day and usually received about seven replies. Shepherd would
then take over.

"When you get a reply, it's 70% sure that you'll get the money," Samuel said.

Soon he was working for two bosses, Shepherd and Colosi, both well known to
authorities but neither of them bothered in a place where police involvement in the
scams is widely alleged.

"Most of the time you look for American contacts because of the value of the dollar, and
because the fraudsters here have contacts in America who wrap up the job over there,"
Samuel said. "For example, the offshore people will go to pose as the Nigerian
ambassador to the U.S., or as government officials. They will show some documents:
This has presidential backing, this has government backing. And you will be convinced
because they will tell you in such a way that you won't be able to say no."

After a scam letter surfaced this summer bearing the forged signature of
NigerianPresident Olusegun Obasanjo, police raided a market in the Oluwole
neighborhood of Lagos, one of six main centers that provide documents used in the 419
scams. They seized thousands of foreign and Nigerian passports, 10,000 blank British
Airways tickets, 10,000 U.S. money orders, customs documents, fake university
certificates, 500 printing plates and 500 computers. A stolen U.S. passport fetches
$2,500 on the black market here.

The scams often involve bogus Internet sites, such as lottery websites, or oil company,
bank or government sites. The scammers sometimes use London phone prefixes to
make victims think they are calling Britain.

Though the fraud is apparent to many, some people think they have stumbled on a
once-in-a-lifetime deal, and scammers can string them along for months with mythical
difficulties. Some victims eventually contribute huge sums of money to save the deal
when it is suddenly "at risk."

Stephen Kovacsics of American Citizen Services, an office of the U.S. Consulate, spoke
to a victim who had lost $200,000.

Kovacsics says he is awakened several nights a week by Americans pleading for help
with an emergency, such as a fiancee (whom they have only met in an online chat room)
locked up in a Nigerian jail. He has to tell them that there is probably no fiancee, no

Kovacsics said victims can't believe that a scammer would spend months of internet
chat just to net $700 or $1,000, not realizing that is big money in Nigeria and fraudsters
will have many scams running at the same time.

By 2003, Shepherd was fleecing 25 to 40 victims a month, Samuel said. Samuel never
got the 20%, but still made a minimum of $900 a month, three times the average income
here. At times, he made $6,000 to $7,000 a month.

Samuel said Shepherd employs seven Nigerians in America, including one in the San
Francisco Bay Area, to spy on maghas and threaten any who get cold feet. If a big deal
is going off track, he calls in all seven.

"They're all graduates and very smart," Samuel said. "Four of them are graduates in
psychology here in Nigeria. If the white guy is getting suspicious, he'll call them all in and
say, 'Can you finish this off for me?'

"They'll try to scare you that you're not going to get out of it. Or you're going to be
arrested and you will face trial in Nigeria. They'll say: 'We know you were at Wal-Mart
yesterday. We know the D.A. He's our friend.' "

"They'll tell you that you are in too deep - you either complete it or you'll be killed."

Samuel said his mother, widowed when he was 16, was devastated when she saw him
in the street with Shepherd and realized what he was up to.

"She tried to force me to stop, but the more force she applied, the more hardened I
became. I said: 'You can't give me what I want. I want a good life.' "

But Samuel began having second thoughts when a friend was arrested after ripping off a
boss for $17,000.

The friend was badly beaten before disappearing into the depths of the labyrinthine
Nigerian justice system. Samuel thought of his mother and how she would be left alone if
something happened to him.

When he gave up cyber crime at the end of last year, he said nothing to his mother. But
she noticed.

"She said she was happy and she could sleep well," he said. "Actually, I started crying. I
couldn't control myself. I realized there was more to life than chasing money."

Now when he sees Shepherd in the streets, his former boss just grins.

"He says: 'Don't worry. You'll come back to me.' "


The many forms of 419 scams

Advance-fee frauds, also known as 419, appear to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to get rich or find the girl of your dreams. The scams can involve phony websites, forged
documents and Nigerians in America posing as government officials. Here are some of
the most popular:

The "next of kin" scam, tempting you to claim an inheritance of millions of dollars in a
Nigerian bank belonging to a long-lost relative, then collecting money for various bank
and transfer fees.

The "laundering crooked money" scam, in which you are promised a large commission
on a multibillion-dollar fortune, persuaded to open an account, contribute funds and
sometimes even travel to Nigeria.

The "Nigerian National Petroleum Co." scam, in which the scammer offers cheap crude
oil, then demands money for commissions and bribes.

The "overpayment" scam, in which fraudsters send a bank check overpaying for a car
or other goods by many thousands of dollars, persuading the victim to transfer the
difference back to Nigeria.

The "job offer you can't refuse" scam, in which an "oil company" offers a job with an
overly attractive salary and conditions (in one example, $180,000 a year and $300 per
hour for overtime) and extracts money for visas, permits and other fees.

The "winning ticket in a lottery you never entered" scam - including, lately, the State
Department's green card lottery.

The "gorgeous person in trouble" scam, in which scammers in chat rooms and on
Christian dating sites pose as beautiful American or Nigerian women, luring lonely men
into Internet intimacy over weeks or months then asking them to send money to get them
out of trouble.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

1 OCT 2005
Sent in by an Associate, from the the Middletown NY
Times Herald-Record (Hudson Valley NY), Online:

Claryville: Police arrest two in lottery scam

The scam is one of the most common around today, according to the Federal Trade
Commission: A lottery scam.

But a Claryville man didn't know that. On a promise of a big lottery payout, the man
sent $7,800 to a New Jersey company. Then the company promised an extra $750,000
if he wired $7,100 more to them in Jersey City, N.J., via Western Union.

The Claryville man called state police and they set up a sting operation, with the help
of Western Union's security department and Jersey City police. On Thursday, when two
men tried to claim the $7,100 at the Jersey City Western Union, store, Jersey City cops
arrested them.

Jersey City filed charges and New York State Police lodged an arrest warrant charging
Aloice A. Vincent, 28, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and William Anderson Wheatfield,
35, of Toronto, with attempted third-degree grand larceny, a felony. Police said
they're Nigerian-Canadian citizens.

The men were being held at the Hudson County, N.J., Jail.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

28 SEP 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Nwude asked me to implicate Anajemba, witness tells court
By Mustapha Ogunsakin

A WITNESS in the trial of two Nigerians over alleged $242 million fraud yesterday told a
Lagos High Court how the principal accused person, Chief Emmanuel Nwude, denied
him and asked him to implicate a dead man because "dead men don't speak."

Nwude and others were accused of defrauding a Brazilian bank of $242 million.

The witness, an Indian, Mr. Naresh Asnami gave this evidence before the trial judge,
Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Ikeja Judicial Division in conclusion of the evidence in
chief conducted by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs.

Asnami started his evidence in chief last Friday. He revealed that he was used to
launder $127 million through his on-shore accounts in London and Geneva, Switzerland.

For now, the aspect of money laundering in the trial of what has come to be regarded as
the biggest fraud trial in the world may be nearing completion.

It is still expected that the managing director of Banco Noroeste, the bank that was
defrauded may still come before the court to give evidence on how the crime was
actually committed.

When the matter come up yesterday, Asnami narrated to the court how he found out that
his account was all along used for the fraud.

He said: "When I was informed that my accounts has been used for the fraud, I
contacted Chief Nwude. He told me he couldn't understand what is going on and was
not aware of what is happening. A few months latter, I received an e-mail on his behalf
from the lawyer in Switzerland. It was a draft prepared for him to swear to by the lawyer to
the effect that he did not know me. I rushed to his house at Osborne road, Ikoyi, Lagos,
and asked him how he could swear to an affidavit denying me.

"He told me to inform my lawyer or anybody else that I did not know Chief Emmanuel
Nwude and that I only know Chief I.K. Anajemba since he was no longer alive. He
(Nwude) then added: "Dead man don't speak."

The late Anajemba was the husband of Mrs. Amaka Martina Anajemba, who pleaded
guilty to the charges brought against her and was sentenced to two and a half years
imprisonment in addition to losing properties worth several millions of naira in the same
fraud trial.

The other two who are still standing trial are Nwude and Chief Nzeribe Okoli. Late
Anajemba was the third person involved in the scam but he died long before the long
arms of the law caught up with the accused persons.

Asnami further gave a vivid account of how he transferred various sums of monies into
different banks abroad and how he also used the ones he could not transfer to buy
goods for his company, Royal Crest Nigeria Limited.

He also told the court how he used companies belonging to the Indian Community
members. The money, according to him, was given to the members of the Indian
Community in dollars. They in turn used the money to buy goods which they imported
into the country after which they pay back to him the equivalent of the sums in naira. He
(Naresh) in turn credited the accounts of companies given to him by Chief Nwude with
the monies.

He said: "The other balance was used for the payment of the supply of the goods for
which I pay the equivalent in naira and another I sold to friends belonging to the Indian
Community who gave me the equivalent in naira by cheques in favour of Nigerian
companies given to me by Chief Nwude."

Further trial will continue on Friday when Nwude's lawyer, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba is
expected to cross-examine Mr. Asnami.

ThisDay and other Nigerian newspapers also did pieces on this story.

26 SEP 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Witness admits laundering $127m for Nwude, others
By Mustapha ogunsakin

A year after, the trial of three Nigerians who allegedly defrauded a Brazillian bank of
$242 million resumed at the weekend with an Indian businessman revealing how he
laundered $127million for the accused person.

Since September 2004, the trial judge, Justice Joseph Olubumi Oyewole had to contend
with one application or the other from defence lawyers all in a bid to stall trial of the
accused persons.

Those standing trial in the scam are Chief Emmanuel Nwude and Chief Nzeribe Okoli.
The third accused person, Mrs. Martina Amaka Anajemba pleaded guilty to the charges
preferred against her, and was sentenced to two and half years imprisonment on July
15, 2005 in addition to forfeiting properties that runs into several millions of naira.

Within the last year, the first accused person, Nwude changed his lawyers at least three
times. The high point was when Chief G. O. K. Ajayi (SAN) came into the matter and
abruptly stormed out of court because the trial judge refused to stay proceedings
pending an appeal he had filed before the Court of Appeal, Lagos. He eventually lost
the appeal. He never came back to the court.

Also last week, September 13, there was a bomb scare at the Ikeja High Court premises
where the trial is taking place. Many believed that the scare might not be unconnected
with the case.

However last Friday, an Indian, Mr. Maresh Asnami, a director of Royal Oil Nigeria
Limited, for five hours, pointed how he was hired into laundering $27million for the
accused persons out of the $242 million involved in the scam.

Asnami has also paid a price for being a part of the fraud. He was convicted in Geneva
for money laundering in the same scam and he spent four years in jail. Because of the
fraud, his father had to relocate to India from the United States of America (USA) on the
same case. Both father and son now live in India.

Led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, Asnami, told the court
how he was allegedly hired into the laundering business by the branch manager of a
new generation bank, Mr Babatunde Soares.

Soares was in court in July 2004 and he gave evidence on his role in the scam. Asnami
told the court that when Soares introduced him to Nwude, he tried to conduct his own
investigation on his (Nwude's ) personality.

His investigations, he claimed, took him to a bank official, Mrs. N. B. Dosunmu, who told
him that her employers never had problems with Nwude and that he is a reliable

He also got words from officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
and the State Security Service (SSS). The two agencies attested to the impeccable
character Nwude.

Asnami further narrated how he after all these assurances, negotiated with Nwude
through Soares. This was how he helped laundered $127 million through his offshore
accounts in Geneva, London, and Hong Kong.

The witness is expected to continue his evidence in chief today.

Here is the URL pf the piece for as long as it is good:

ThisDay also covered the story, here is the URL for that
piece for as long as it is good:

23 SEP 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC Arraigns Female Director over N21m Fraud
By Abimbola Akosile

A 56-year old female director of Macro-Economic Planning, Ministry of Special Duties in
Oyo State Civil Service, was yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) before an Ikeja High Court judge.

The woman, Mrs. Helen Bankole Laoye was brought before Justice Morenike Obadina
on two separate charges.

The accused was arrested in May this year and charged to court for conspiring with four
other persons (still at large) to obtain the sum of N6 million and $105,000 totaling
N21,225,000.00 (twenty-one million, two hundred and twenty-five thousand naira) from
Messrs. Segun Olufunmi and Adeola Adepoju, Directors of East Atlantic Business
Systems Support Services on one hand and one Pastor Samson Olatunbosun on the
other hand; contrary to Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud Act, 2004.

When the matter came up around 10am yesterday, Laoye who was brought from EFCC
office in Ikoyi, broke down in tears and pleaded not guilty to all the eight counts in the
two separate charges. She added that she was the only one who was brought to court in
the matter.

While lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh urged the court to remand the accused
in prison, her defence counsel, Mr. Obafemi Oyeneye pleaded that she should be
allowed to remain within the confines of the EFCC office. a plea which was refused by the
judge, who ordered that she should be taken to Kirikiri Medium Security Prisons (female
wing). Obadina thereafter adjourned the matter till October 11-14 for commencement of

Laoye, alongside other accused persons, were charged with obtaining the above-
mentioned sums between January and February 2004, in the first charge and between
May and September 2004, in the second charge.

The N4m obtained in first charge was said to represent part payment of security
deposit/contract grant guarantee in respect of an Information Technology (IT) project to
be financed by Department for International Development (DFID) UK; while the N2m and
$105,000 obtained from the pastor was alleged to be part payment that involved a
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) cargo transaction.

15 SEP 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Trial of fraud suspect holds despite Tuesday's bomb scare
By Mustapha Ogunsakin

UNDAUNTED by the bomb scare that was believed to have been targeted at his court
on Tuesday, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole yesterday continued hearing in the fraud case
involving a Brazilian bank, believed to be the world's biggest scam.

Justice Oyewole was the only judge who sat in the whole of Ikeja High Court yesterday.

More facts have also emerged on how a witness in the trial, Mr. Seyi Ogunleye, was
kidnapped in the chaotic situation that arose in the aftermath of the scare.

Sources also narrated how the trial judge escaped to safety after he was told of the
possible bomb explosion.

At exactly 10.10 a.m. yesterday, Justice Oyewole was seated in his court.

And the first case he heard was the $242 million scam against a Brazilian bank preferred
against Chief Emmanuel Nwude and Chief Nzeribe Okoli.

It was the case he was hearing when the bomb scare occurred on Tuesday.

Immediately Justice Oyewole sat yesterday, he apologised to the lawyers present for
what he had thought would be a short adjournment, which eventually took 24 hours. The
whole court burst into laughter, thereby easing whatever tension everybody in court
might feel.

The case could not, however, go on as the accused persons were not brought to court
by the prison wardens. The prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the defence lawyer,
Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), and the lawyer to the second accused person (Okoli), Mr.
Sina Ogunlana, all agreed that the court should adjourn till tomorrow so that prison
wardens could bring the accused persons to court.

A court official yesterday alleged that Ogunleye was kidnapped and put inside the
same bus with a principal accused person in a fraud case.

The official, who preferred anonymity, yesterday told journalists that she saw same
heftymen rough handling Ogunleye and moving him towards the gate. As they
approached the gates, the unknown persons changed tactics by giving a phone to
Ogunleye to give the accused person; in the process of which prison officials in
company of the accused persons joined the unknown persons in beating up Ogunleye.

"This was in the glare of everybody who had run out of court but nobody knew he
(Ogunleye) was a court witness. They thereafter commanded a bus, moved the
accused persons and Ogunleye into the bus and sped away", she narrated.

Ogunleye was later dropped on the Third Mainland Bridge after all documents that he
was to tender in court had been taken away from him.

The judge's escape from his chambers was dramatic. Someone had gone to his
secretary to tell her to inform the judge that he must rise immediately. When the
Secretary had something about bomb blast, she could not wait for the informant to finish
as she ran into the court (where the judge was already sitting) and whispered to him the
information at her disposal.

Justice Oyewole did not wait. He told the bewildered lawyers that he was rising for a few
minutes. From that point, he entered his chambers, pulled off his wing and gown (the
inner coat and crib were still intact) and sped out of the court premises.

His first port of call was nearby police headquarters where the judge met the State
Police Commissioner Ade Ajakaiye who was at a meeting with his senior officers. It was
Ajakaiye who now explained to him the intelligence report the police had, which
culminated into the bomb explosion experts moving into the court complex. It was after
this that the trial judge moved into safety.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

14 SEP 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Bomb scare at Lagos high court

Judges, lawyers scamper to safety

Exhibit in bank scam case missing

By Mustapha Ogunsakin, Tunde Alao, Alex Olise, Esther Ojo, Tutu Adeyanju and Taiwo

PANDEMONIUM broke out yesterday at the Ikeja High Court premises in Lagos State
over a bomb scare. By the time the dust cleared, some vital documents in a bank fraud
case were reported stolen by some yet unknown persons who were alleged to have
kidnapped a key witness but later released him.

Men of the Nigeria Mobile Police had to cordon the entire Oba Akinjobi Street, starting
from the junction beside the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
Human and vehicular traffic became hectic while the pandemonium raged

Judges, lawyers, judicial officers and litigants, and even accused persons who were
brought to court for trial ran helter-skelter in fear.

Most of the judges could not wait for their cars and orderlies, as they ran out of the high
court premises, which is the headquarters of the state judiciary.

The incident drew the immediate attention of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police
(AIG) Zone 2, Mr. Israel Ajao and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ade Ajakaiye.

It all started around 10.00 a.m. when most courts had started sitting. Policemen from the
Bomb Disposal Unit had arrived at the court with two vehicles, saying that they had
intelligence report that a bomb, which had been planted in the court complex, might
explode at anytime.

The Police team was led by Ajao and an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of
Area 'F' Command, Mr. Habila Joshak.

Ajao later gave instructions that the whole area be cordoned. There were more than 100
armed mobile policemen on the ground.

In the confusion, a witness, who was in court to testify in the biggest fraud case involving
a Brazilian bank, was kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination by some
unknown persons.

The witness, Seyi Ogunleye, was to testify for the prosecution, the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) team led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).

All the documents he was to tender before the court were reportedly taken from him by
the kidnappers, before he was released.

As at press time, officers of the EFCC had taken the witness to Ajao.

The police used a public address system to call on people to go out of the premises.
Some judges who were sitting, hurriedly rose and made straight for their chambers, from
where they took off.

Lawyers were not left out. A Senior Advocate and lawyer to Chief Emmanuel Nwude was
arguing an application before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole in $242 million bank scam
when the pandemonium started.

The senior lawyer hurriedly ran out of the court and made straight for his car.

In the process, his wig fell and was picked by one of his juniors. Even accused persons
were guided out of the premises by prison warders to the "Black Maria" vehicle.

For high profile accused persons like Nwude and his co-accused, Chief Nzeribe Okoli,
prison warders could not wait. They commandeered a bus and took them away

Also in the chaos, most judicial officers could not wait to lock their offices, or shut down
their computers before they hurriedly left the premises.

The leader of the bomb disposal unit, Mr. Henry Idiodi, later told journalists that the
police had received intelligence report that a bomb had been planted in the premises.

As at 2.00 p.m., the men of the Bomb Disposal Unit were still combing the premises, from
one office to another while the gates to the court remained shut.

The Chief Registrar of the court, Mr. Abiodun Dabiri, in company of some of his senior
members of staff, later told The Guardian that the situation was "under control" and that
the court would open today.

The Ikeja High Court has been playing host to many celebrated cases, especially
cases that have to do with the EFCC and also the celebrated attempted murder of The
Guardian Publisher, Mr. Alex Ibru case, against former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen.
Ishaya Bamaiyi, Major Al-Mustapha Hamza and others.

Incidentally, most of these cases are being handled by Justice Oyewole. In fact, the
Nwude case was on when the bomb scare occurred. Nwude's lawyer, Mr. Olisa
Agbakoba (SAN), had brought an application before the court seeking to quash the 91-
count charge preferred against his client. Agbakoba was in the process of arguing his
case when the incident started.

Intimidating phone calls and threat letters had of late been sent to Justice Oyewole. On
October 18, 2004, the judge had said in an open court that some persons were paying
unusual visits to him over a case.

He had said: "There are certain visits I received from certain people on behalf of the
accused persons. This is totally unnecessary, as this court would decide this case
based on what happened in this court. The accused persons should be assured that
this court would be fair in this trial."

On December 10, 2004, Justice Oyewole's secretary received a courier letter while the
judge was sitting in open court. The letter addressed to Justice Oyewole turned out to
be a warning on the various cases.

In the letter sent through DHL Courier company, the anonymous writers declared that
they know the judge's home and the school of his children and threatened to deal with
him at the appropriate time.

Police sources told The Guardian that the first intelligence report on the likely explosion
was received early in the morning by Ajao.

A similar report was sent to Ajakaiye.

The two top officers quickly made contact and assembled a team of policemen drawn
from the Force Anti-bomb Squad and made straight for the court.

Ajao and Ajakaiye said the police action was in its 'proactive' bid to tackle terrorism.

Police sources said the intelligence report was linked to a high profile case in one of the

The bomb scare and police response came barely three weeks after the Senate
passed the Anti-Terrorism Bill.

The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, had in a recent interview
confirmed that very soon, the force would monitor Lagos and Abuja with "Close Circuit
Television (CCTV)", which would help to detect heinous crimes.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

ThisDay and other Nigerian newpapers also did articles
on this incident, here is the URL of ths ThisDay piece for
as long as it is good:

And The URL of The Punch piece for as long as it is good:

Also the Daily Champion URL for their piece for as long as
it is good:

13 SEP 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

Obasanjo: Some Nigerians Tried 419 on Me
...Nigeria, haven of fake drugs

From Kunle Aderinokun in Abuja with agency report

President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said advance fee fraudsters aka 419 once
attempted to defraud him. He, however, did not disclose whether or not he fell for it.

Also yesterday in Abuja, Obasanjo said Nigeria is still a haven of fake drugs despite
the efforts of his administration to stop the activities of fake drugs syndicate.

At a meeting with Spanish business community in Madrid, Spain Obasanjo said that the
fraudsters are no respecter of status and advised Spanish businessmen willing to do
business with Nigerians to crosscheck any dealings with the Nigerian embassy.
"We have a number of Nigerians who are engaged in 419, they even tried it on me. Can
you imagine", Obasanjo told his audience.

He said that his fight against corruption would go on until the menace was reduced to the
barest minimum. Obasanjo said he was "on a total war against corruption in all its forms
and manifestations".

He urged the Spanish businessmen to look and perceive Nigeria in new light and "put
aside all the stereotypes, misinformation, prejudice and wrong data bandied about
Obasanjo said although the country had its share of its problems on corruption the
government was doing something about it, "adding, "and we are succeeding".
[The remainder of the article does not deal with 419 matters]

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

2 SEP 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC can't find internet fraudsters, says Ribadu
From Gbolahan Gbadamosi, Jos

THE Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam
Nuhu Ribadu, yesterday admitted the inability of his commission to track down and
punish those who commit advanced fee fraud through the internet.

Speaking through the Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, Ribadu
noted that despite the deluge of complaints flooding his commission on a daily basis,
it was a matter of regret that the "culprits could not be tracked down."

He spoke at the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yearly general conference in
the Plateau State capital, Jos.The session was on the topic : 'Review of Cases of
Professional Misconduct'.

Chairman of the session, former First Vice- President of the NBA, Mrs. Funke Adekoya
(SAN) challenged the EFCC on the deluge of fraud-induced letters in her mail which she
copied to the commission in respect of which no action was taken. [The article
continued concerning other matters not 419 related...]

2 SEP 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

EU sponsors team to monitor EFCC, ICPC

By Rafiu Ajakaye
Trainee Reporter, Lagos

The European Commission (EC), an arm of the European Union (EU), has voted N15
million to monitor anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.

The money would be used to sponsor a monitoring team in the country to keep tab on
the operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and
Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.

The exercise to be coordinated by the International Press Centre (IPC), Nigeria,
began on Thursday in Lagos and it is expected to span two years after which
recommendations and appraisals would be made on the President Olusegun
Obasanjo-led anti-graft campaign.

Representative EC and the Project Manager, Good Governance and Human Rights,
Nigeria, Raheemat Momodu, said the project aims at encouraging, monitoring as well
as partnering with the Nuhu Ribadu and Mustapha Akanbi-led anti-graft agencies .

Nigerians alone cannot keep tab on, and end the scourge of corruption in the country,
Momodu insisted, urging Nigerian journalists to double their efforts in reporting and
exposing corrupt practices in the society.

The IPC said one of the reasons behind setting up the anti-graft monitoring team is to
weed out corruption which has hindered transparency, accountability, openness, the
factors democracy requires to flourish.

Briefing newsmen at the launch of the campaign, the Project Coordinator, Lanre
Arogundade, said the first project would begin with monitoring the cases of the former
Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, Fred Ajudua and former Managing Director
of the Bank of the North, Muhammed Bulama, all of whom are being prosecuted by the
EFCC. This would start from this month till October 1, 2006.

Others include training workshop for journalists and anti-corruption activists reporting,
the use of media in advocacy against corruption focusing, among others, on ethics of
corruption reporting, role of media groups in fighting corruption, etc.

Its operation would include "publication of bi-monthly anti-corruption summary (reports,
analysis, messages) in the print media to focus on judicial processes, assessment of
anti-corruption agencies, public perspectives on corruption, etc.

Publication of a quarterly journal, index on corruption to focus on developments in
tracking and curbing corruption, judicial, legislative and executive anti-corruption
decisions and polices, gender role in anti-corruption war".

The objectives, Arogundade stressed, are that the "project shall help to contribute
answers to a number of pertinent questions that are of public concern: How effective are
the anti-corruption agencies in the prosecution of the anti-corruption war? What are the
challenges they face and are there any obstacles militating against the effective
discharge of their duties and responsibility? What is the public perception of the anti-
corruption war and to what extent do the anti-corruption enjoy public confidence?"

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

2 SEP 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

Regulate cyber café activities, US advises Nigerian govt
By Sunny Igboanugo, Assistant Editor, Politics

The Federal Government has been urged to put measures in place to arrest the rising
incidents of cyber crimes in the country to curb is negative image abroad and enhance
business opportunities for its nationals and a fertile ground for more local investments.

Mr. Michael McGee, Commercial Counselor at the United States Embassy in Nigeria,
told reporters in Lagos this week that a lot of damage had been done to the credibility of
Nigeria as a result of the negative use to which few Nigerians have put the internet, a
means of communication that has brought a lot of positive changes in the world of
business and other inter-personal relationships.

"A lot of criminal activities go on in the cyber cafes, not because their owners are
contributors or collaborators, but because people come in and take advantage of it,
anonymously almost and do these kinds of activities. But if there are means in which
regulatory bodies in the country in charge of communications and Internet could utilise
technology to have a better hold and grasp of what is actually going on in these cyber
cafes, it would be able to clamp down on this," he said.

He said a lot of responsibilities actually lay with the greater part of the citizenry, who had
knowledge of these activities to also do their best in combating them, because of the
huge impact of the negative image of the country arising from the menace. "The country
suffers tremendously because of the negative image that is created by few people, what
we call in the United States, especially during an important period in our country, the
silent majority. They do not speak out, they do not report about what they know about
these kinds of things that are going on and demand that the judicial system, the law
enforcement prosecute these kind of people where they do find them", he added.

Much as the Internet technology appears to have been abused and enhanced the
sophistication in crimes, McGee would not support the abolition of cyber cafes in the
country, arguing that the advantages far surpassed the disadvantages. "I think that the
benefits that people have in communicating on economical matters, with their loved
ones, who may be in another city, who may be in another country, to be able to keep in
touch with them, send pictures, the internet has been able to make great impact in
fostering these and drawing people together. And many legitimate entities, who want to
do business in many countries, they use the medium, which is saving people money to
communicate, which is saving people money to be able to do business. It also brings
up small medium sized companies, small entrepreneurs, who would never have the
access to be able to grow and prosper, because they don’t just have the means. It is a
great equaliser in many ways.

And what we are talking about is a very small portion of what goes on through the
Internet. It is getting a lot of attention. It is creating a lot of problems. Countries are finding
ways to combat that. Each time they find a new way, the bad guys find another way to
deal with it. But that does not mean that we should abandon it. If walked outside today,
you would find all these things driving around in four wheels. They are causing a lot of
problems. Should we do away with them, should we go back to horse and buggy? I
don’t think so. We are moving forward and not backwards. It is impossible anyway."

He admitted however that the phenomenon was not limited to the Nigeria alone, adding
that a lot of the cases investigated had proven not to originate from Nigeria, adding that
the problem remained that the image had stuck to the country.

The US envoy also spoke on the need to curb the menace of piracy in the film industry
in the country adding that recently, he had a meeting a very prominent Nigerian who was
eager or to develop the industry, where the issue of piracy featured prominently.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

2 SEP 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

40,000 Passports Seized in Oluwole Raid
10,000 blank British Airways tickets too
By Godwin Ifijeh and Eugene Agha

Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero, yesterday said over
40,000 Nigerian Passports, including official ones, were recovered during the recent
raid on Oluwole, a notorious area in Lagos Island noted for document forgery and

The IGP, who made the disclosure while briefing the press in Lagos said 1,500 foreign
passports, including those of Libya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Guinea Bissau,
Cameroon, Senegal, Switzer-land., the Gambia, South Africa, United States, Jamaica,
Costa Rica and Ghana were recovered. Also recovered from the raid were about 50,000
assorted foreign cheques and over 500 printing plates.

Other seizures made, according to Ehindero, include over 500 computers, about 10, 000
blank British Airways tickets, about 10, 000 United States Postal Money Order and blank
certificates of occupancy.

The IGP said 115 suspects were arrested. Seventy-seven of the suspects, he said,
were later set free for lack of sufficient evidence to warrant their detention.

Ehindero said the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and
the State Security Services (SSS) combined to conduct the Oluwole raid aimed at
dismantling the notorious criminal black spot, where all forms of stolen and forged
documents were openly traded in Central Lagos.

According to him, President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was concerned with the threat to
security by the nefarious activities going on in the area had directed that a committee,
comprising of the Police, the FCT Minister, SSS, Immigration and the EFCC clean up the
area and other similar locations, where counterfeiting and forgery were prevalent in

While giving other identified areas in Lagos as Shomolu, Apapa, City Hall and Bristol
Hotel, the IGP said these other areas were complementing, supporting and replicating
the illegal activities going on in Oluwole area.

He said the crack down on all such areas continues and that 38 other suspects were
arrested in Apapa on Wednesday after a container loaded with fake import clearing
documents, including Customs documents, seals and stamps was discovered outside
the Apapa Seaport.

He paraded all 76 suspects, including 17 ladies. He, however, indicted the Area
Commander, Area 'A' Command of the Lagos State Police Command and the DPO,
Ebute Ero Division in whose jurisdiction Oluwole falls. He expressed surprise that the
officers behaved as if they were not aware of its existence before now.

He warned members of the public to desist from assisting the syndicate at Oluwole
through patronage. He said anyone arrested in the area will be treated as an
accomplice to criminal activities.

According to him, patrons of forged documents were as culpable as their manufacturers
and vendors. He pointed out that carrying forged documents was a serious felony that
carries 14-year jail term. [The remainder of the article deals with matters other than 419]

419 Coalition note: Although this article does not mention 419 advance fee
fraud per se, of course forged documents etc. are of course part of the basic
infrastructure of many 419 operations, hence we have included this piece in
our News section.

31 AUG 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

U.S. not impressed with EFCC

By Sunny Igboanugo
Asst Editor, Politics

Going by the position of the United States on Tuesday, Abuja’s high regard for
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for combating fraud appears
like pouring water on the back of a tortoise.

Like the proverbial barber’s chair, the achievements claimed to have been made by the
commission may be nothing more than all motion and no movement as America has
said Nigeria must do a lot more to clean the tar the menace has splashed on its image
over the years.

The position of the U.S. was conveyed at the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of its
consulate in Lagos, where its envoy, Michael L. McGee, told journalists at the weekly
press briefing that merely arresting people connected with such crimes is not enough
proof of the country’s seriousness to combat the phenomenon.

He said a situation where the EFCC has convicted only one person from the hundreds
brought to trial out of several arrests made in 419 related cases points to a flaw in
the system.

His words: "The EFCC and I have talked about it. They are doing a lot of good job.
But something is failing them in the entire process. I know that they have been working
diligently with the limited resources and funds that they have to try and combat it.
But they also need help."

"It is part of every citizen’s responsibility to contribute to this - by saying we
don’t accept this. That, because of my identity as a Nigerian and my country and my
nation, where I live and where I want my children to grow, this is not acceptable."

McGee said the image of the country would improve tremendously the moment high
calibre individuals are convicted.

"When you have hundreds of cases that were brought and you have thousands of
people that were investigated and you have one conviction from the EFCC, what does
that tell you? What does that make you think? I am not judging. I am just giving you
the findings."

McGee, the Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, reeled out figures
relating to 419.

He said the U.S. secret service receives more than 30,000 fraud cases involving
Nigerians every month, which has greatly impacted on the country’s image and
prevented a lot of Nigerians from doing legitimate business.

He explained: "I know legitimate business people here, hundreds and hundreds of them
who say I would have a new line of products to sell. I wrote to XYZ Company in the U.S.
or I sent them e-mail or I called them. As soon as they heard that I am from Nigeria, they
broke off communication. They are legitimate people and I had to go on their behalf to
say I know them."

McGee refused to be swayed by the allegation of the culpability of the U.S. and the
international community in the menace by allowing their countries as safe havens for
looters of Nigeria’s treasury - thereby impoverishing the citizens, who in turn rely
on such crimes to survive.

He argued that just as the U.S. is accountable and responsible to its citizens, Nigeria
should do the same.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

30 AUG 2005
From the Associated Press:

Fake Money Orders entering the U.S. from Canada and Nigeria

Large number of counterfeit money orders are entering the United States from Canada
and Nigeria, according to U.S. Postal Inspector Aaron Simon of Sioux Falls. [South Dakota]

He said $21 million in fake money orders have been seized in the United States in the
past year. Almost 300 fake money orders have been found in South Dakota, he said.

Some of them are being used to pay for goods from businesses, and some have been
given to people involved in online dating to cash for their suitor in another country,
Simon said.

On real money orders, USPS is not visible on the security strip unless it is held up. A
picture of Benjamin Franklin will appear in the watermark.

If the money order is held down, these items will not appear. On a fake money order,
USPS is legible when it is held down. And the watermark contains a picture of a man
who does not look like Franklin.

27 AUG 2005
From the Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC worried over visa lottery swindlers

Sesan Olufowobi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said on Friday that it
was worried about the activities of some Nigerians involved in fake visa
lottery schemes.

An EFCC source told our correspondent in Lagos that the agency
discovered the scams through discreet investigations, adding that such
was a source of embarrassment to the country.

He said that at least five or six examples of the scams had come to
EFCC’s notice, stating that it would readily cooperate with any nation’s
security agencies which desired assistance in dealing with the

The EFCC source spoke in response to a red alert issued by the
Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) warning that some Nigerian
swindlers had been using a fraudulent Spanish visa lottery scheme to
dupe unsuspecting nationals of various countries, including the United

The red alert, which was posted on FBI’s website, indicated that over
$24 million was being lost yearly to the swindlers, adding that the fake
scheme, which it termed "Nigeria Letter Scam," could open a new door
to future identity theft.

FBI said the swindlers usually operated by collecting the names and
addresses of targets, all outside Spain, through the Internet.

"Then you, the target, get a letter from the Spanish National Lottery
claiming you’ve won about $730,000 in a special promotional lottery. An
estimated six million letters are sent a year. The letters look legitimate,
complete with official logos and contact information. They also include
a form from the bank where the money is supposedly being held. You
might even receive follow-up faxes and phone calls.

Then the hook: all you have to do is pay Spanish taxes - between 0.5
per cent and 2 per cent of the winnings - to get the money. Just fax your
completed claim forms with personal and banking information and wire
the money within a couple of days. If you take the bait, chances are
you’ll be asked to cover other expenses, too," the warning said.

FBI said it had pursued the swindlers relentlessly in collaboration with
the Spanish National Police (SNP), disclosing that in July, Spanish
security agents "launched a massive crackdown that resulted in 300
arrests, 150 searches and the seizure of nearly 2,000 cell phones,
hundreds of computers and fax machines, plenty of fake documents
and $265,000 in cash."

It concluded, "We were delighted to be a part of their investigation,
working through our Madrid legal attache office and with our partners in the Federal
Trade Commission and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Our
task was to identify and interview possible U.S. victims by calling some
800 U.S. phone numbers from lists provided by the SNP."

12 AUG 2005
Here is a good piece on Check Clearing 419 and Employment
419 From the July-August 2005 AARP Bulletin:

Scam Alert...Wireless Bank Heist

By Sid Kirchheimer

They have high-powered names - Xian Energy, Delta Soft Labs, International Health Care,
Future Tech, V-Tech Sendit Software - and they promise big rewards for little effort. But the only
reward for their victims is a depleted bank account.

Identifying themselves as top firms based overseas, the "companies" recruit work-at-home
representatives through e-mails and online job postings. They say that "due to the delays in
clearing checks and money orders in Europe," they need "financial agents" to process
payments for their U.S. orders.

It seemed the perfect job for Dick Hambrice, 67, a retired medical supplies salesman from
Columbus, Ga. After responding to a posting on Monster.com, he was told that each week he’d
receive checks for between $2,000 and $100,000 via FedEx. After depositing them in his own
bank account, all he had to do was wire-transfer those funds to a foreign bank. When each
check cleared, Hambrice would get a 5 percent commission.

"Since I live on Social Security, an additional $200 or $300 a week would really be helpful," says
Hambrice. "Especially for something as simple as going to the bank."

Instead, he lost $4,500. The check Hambrice received and put into his account was counterfeit.
So the money he transferred to a foreign account was in fact his own. "You’d think in these days,
a bank would know immediately whether a check is good or not," Hambrice says. "Apparently,
they don’t."

This type of check-cashing scheme generates hundreds of complaints each month to the
Internet Crime Complaint Center, says FBI spokesman Paul Bresson, and is one of the most
common Internet scams.

And one of the nastiest. The phony companies can further bleed recruits by using the account
information provided on their wire transfers. Victims in certain cases could face federal
counterfeiting and forgery charges for signing or processing bogus checks, says Bruce
Hammerle of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

His advice: "Be very wary of 'work-at-home' offers, especially those with any foreign
connection. Anytime you receive a check or money order and someone wants money wired
back, figure it’s a scam."

The swindlers seem to change their corporate identities every few months. The e-mail that
Delta Soft Labs sent to Diosdado Corrales, 57, of Toronto was identical to those sent to other
job seekers by Atrium and Rilan Soft Labs—all professing to be Eastern Europe’s leading
software developer, based in Russia. Initially, Corrales thought he was recruited because his
résumé, posted on CareerBuilder.com’s website, indicates he’s fluent in Russian. "Now I feel
used," he says, after losing $1,700 in two wire transfers.

Since being contacted by Scam Alert, CareerBuilder spokeswoman Jennifer Sullivan says
postings for those firms have been removed. An alert for job seekers tells them: Never provide
credit card or bank account information to recruiters, or perform any sort of monetary
transaction. "You don’t give the combination if you don’t want the safe opened," Sullivan says.

Here is the URL for as long as it is good:

6 AUG 2005
From the Associated Press:

Internet scammers keep working in Nigeria

Day in, day out, a strapping, amiable 24-year-old who calls himself Kele B. heads to an Internet
cafe, hunkers down at a computer and casts his net upon the cyber-waters.

Blithely oblivious to signs on the walls and desks warning of the penalties for Internet fraud, he
has sent out tens of thousands of e-mails telling recipients they have won about $6.4 million in a
bogus British government ``Internet lottery.''

``Congratulation! You Are Our Lucky Winner!'' it says.

So far, Kele says, he has had only one response. But he claims it paid off handsomely. An
American took the bait, he says, and coughed up ``fees'' and ``taxes'' of more than $5,000,
never to hear from Kele again.

Festac Town, a district of Lagos where the scammers ply their schemes, has become notorious
for ``419 scams,'' named for the section of the Nigerian penal code that outlaws them.

In Festac Town, an entire community of scammers overnights on the Internet. By day they flaunt
their smart clothes and cars and hang around the Internet cafes, trading stories about
successful cons and near misses, and hatching new plots.

Festac Town is where communication specialists operating underground sell foreign telephone
lines over which a scammer can purport to be calling from any city in the world. Here lurk master
forgers and purveyors of such software as ``e-mail extractors,'' which can harvest e-mail
addresses by the million.

Now, however, a 3-year-old crackdown is yielding results, Nigerian authorities say.

Nuhu Ribadu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, says cash and assets
worth more than $700 million were recovered from suspects between May 2003 and June 2004.
More than 500 suspects have been arrested, more than 100 cases are before the courts and
500 others are under investigation, he said.

The agency won its first big court victory in May when Mike Amadi was sentenced to 16 years in
prison for setting up a Web site that offered juicy but phoney procurement contracts. Amadi
cheekily posed as Ribadu himself and used the agency's name. He was caught by an
undercover agent posing as an Italian businessman.

This month the biggest international scam of all - though not one involving the Internet - ended in
court convictions. Amaka Anajemba was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison and ordered to
return $25.5 million of the $242 million she helped to steal from a Brazilian bank.

The trial of four co-defendants is to start in September.

Why Nigeria? There are many theories. The nation of 130 million, Africa's most populous, is
well educated, and English, the lingua franca of the scam industry, is the official language.
Nigeria bursts with talent, from former NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon to Nobel literature laureate
Wole Soyinka.

But with World Bank studies showing a quarter of urban college graduates are unemployed,
crime offers tempting career opportunities - in drug dealing, immigrant-trafficking, oil-smuggling,
and Internet fraud.

The scammers thrived during oil-rich Nigeria's 15 years of brutal and corrupt military rule, and
democracy was restored only six years ago.

``We reached a point when law enforcement and regulatory agencies seemed nonexistent. But
the stance of the present administration has started changing that,'' said Ribadu, the scam-
busting chief.

President Olusegun Obasanjo is winning U.S. praise for his crackdown. Interpol, the FBI and
other Western law enforcement agencies have stepped in to help, says police spokesman
Emmanuel Ighodalo, and Nigerian police have received equipment and Western training in
combating Internet crime and money-laundering.

Experts say Nigerian scams continue to flood e-mail systems, though many are being blocked
by spam filters that get smarter and more aggressive. America Online Inc. Nicholas Graham
says Nigerian messages lack the telltale signs of other spam - such as embedded Web links -
but its filters are able to be alert to suspect mail coming from a specific range of Internet

Also, the scams have a limited shelf life.

In the con that Internet users are probably most familiar with, the e-mailer poses as a corrupt
official looking for help in smuggling a fortune to a foreign bank account. E-mail or fax recipients
are told that if they provide their banking and personal details and deposit certain sums of
money, they'll get a cut of the loot.

But there are other scams, like the fake lotteries.

Kele B., who won't give his surname, says he couldn't find work after finishing high school in
2000 in the southeastern city of Owerri, so he drifted with friends to Lagos, where he tried his
hand at boxing.

Then he discovered the Web.

Now he spends his mornings in Internet cafes on secondhand computers with aged screens,
waiting ``to see if my trap caught something,'' he says.

Elekwa, a chubby-faced 28-year-old who also keeps his surname to himself, shows up in
Festac Town driving a Lexus and telling how he was jobless for two years despite having a
diploma in computer science.

His break came four years ago when the chief of a fraud gang saw him solve what seemed like
``a complex computer problem'' at a business center in the southeastern city of Umuahia and
lured him to Lagos.

He won't talk about his scams, only about their fruits: ``Now I have three cars, I have two houses
and I'm not looking for a job anymore.''

21 JUL 2005
This in from Ultrascan in the Netherlands, reporting
the arrest of 310 West Africans, including many Nigerians,
mainly for for Lottery 419, in Malaga, Spain - in Dutch:

310 West-Afrikanen opgepakt bij grootscheepse loterijfraude

De Spaanse politie heeft naar aanleiding van een grootscheepse fraude 310 West-Afrikanen opgepakt. De West-Afrikanen
worden ervan verdacht jaarlijks ongeveer 20.000 mensen te hebben opgelicht voor meer dan 100 miljoen euro door hen te
vertellen dat ze de hoofdprijs van een loterij hadden gewonnen.

De meeste van de verdachten die worden vastgehouden in de zuidelijke provincie Malaga zijn Nigerianen, anderen zijn
afkomstig uit Ghana. In totaal namen meer dan 400 politiemannen deel aan de huiszoekingen, die werden uitgevoerd op meer
dan 170 adressen.

Meer dan zes miljoen brieven of e-mails

Minstens twee verdachten moesten voor verzorging naar het ziekenhuis, nadat ze in een poging om te vluchten uit het raam
waren gesprongen.

Volgens de politie stuurden de verdachten jaarlijks meer dan zes miljoen brieven of e-mails naar mensen in Europa, de
Verenigde Staten, Canada, Australië, Japan en Arabische landen. In die brieven stond dat de geadresseerden de hoofdprijs
van een loterij hadden gewonnen. Aan hen werd gevraagd of ze geld wilden opsturen om de belastings- en documentskosten
te betalen. De oplichters zouden in ongeveer 50 landen actief zijn geweest.

Vorig jaar rolde de Spaanse politie nog 31 Spaanse bendes op, 100 verdachten werden opgepakt. Begin dit jaar werden 30
andere Nigerianen opgepakt op verdenking van verschillende soorten fraud

21 JUL 2005
Here is an English version of the above story from The Register
in the UK:

Biggest 419 bust in history
By Jan Libbenga

The FBI and Spanish police have arrested 310 people in Malaga, Spain in connection with a
€100m bogus (email) lottery scam run by Nigerian gangs. It is the biggest 419 bust in history,
and may result in drastic reductions of scam mails.

The operation, codenamed Nile, centered on a mob which operated from Southern Spain. No
less than four hundred officers from the Spanish police, the FBI and the US Postal Service were
involved with the investigation, which began in 2003. Officers raided 166 homes in places such
as Malaga, Benalmádena, Mijas, Torremolinos and Marbella. Police seized € 218,000 in cash,
2,000 mobile telephones, 327 computers and 165 fax machines.

Besides lottery emails, they also sent over 6 million 'classic' 419 scam mails, offering rewards
for people who were willing to stash away money that had been taken out of Iraq by the family of
the ex-dictator Saddam Hussein or money founds in the remains of the Twin Towers after the
9/11 attacks.

The scam claimed over 20,000 victims in 45 countries including Britain, France, Germany, the
US, Canada, Australia, Japan and a number of Arabic countries, officials said.

As police will continue searching for more clues - officials are still trying to determine where the
funds have been deposited - the number of scam emails may drop considerably. Similar raids
on premises in Amsterdam early 2004 saw a rapid migration of Nigerians to other countries.

Here is the URL for as long as it is good:

20 JUL 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

Anajemba: Obasanjo hails Ribadu, demands more convictions

By Chesa Chesa, State House Correspondent, Abuja

President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),
Nuhu Ribadu, for ensuring the successful conviction of Mrs Amaka Martina Anajemba, who was involved in the country’s
biggest advance fee fraud case.

Anajemba and four others were dragged to court by the EFCC for defrauding some Brazilians of about $242 Million, and was
last week jailed two and half years for the crime by a Lagos High Court.

In a commendation letter to Ribadu, the President said the conviction was the result of quality leadership of the EFCC boss,
which showed in quality work and dedication to duty. He challenged the EFCC team not to rest on its oars but get more

Obasanjo told the crime-buster that "the painstaking investigation and presentation of evidence before the Lagos High Court
secured for you not just jail terms but the seizure by the court of all her (Anajemba’s) assets".

He described the achievement as "evidence of quality work, dedication to duty, focused deployment of skills and quality
leadership," adding, however, that "this victory should energise you to work harder and to attain greater heights and more

Obasanjo noted that the EFCC had within a few years of its existence "made an indelible mark in the fight against corruption.
Our goal is to continue with this fight in the interest of our present and future".

He further pledged his administration’s "undiluted support” to the EFCC in the “determined efforts to rid the country of all forms
of corruption".

419 Coalition note: Other Nigerian newspapers, including ThisDay and
Vanguard also covered this story. 419 Coalition is also glad of the
conviction, of course, looks forward to the repatriation of the 419ed
monies, and for more convictions and repatriations in the near future.

17 JUL 2005
From Reuters:

Nigeria jails woman, Amaka Anajemba, in $242 mln email fraud case

A Nigerian court has sentenced a woman to two and half years in jail after she pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the country's
biggest e-mail scam case, the anti-fraud agency said on Saturday.

Amaka Anajemba, one of three suspects in a $242 million fraud involving a Brazilian bank, would return $48.5 million to the
bank, hand over $5 million to the government and pay a fine of 2 million nair agency said.

Scams have become so successful in Nigeria that anti-sleaze campaigners say swindling is one of the country's main foreign
exchange earners after oil, natural gas and cocoa.

Anajemba's sentencing by a Lagos High Court on Friday is the first major conviction since the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) was established in 2003 to crack down on Nigeria's thriving networks of email fraudsters.

The agency said in a statement that the judgment was "a landmark achievement by EFCC in the fight against advance fee
fraud, corruption and other related crimes."

Typically fraudsters send out junk e-mails around the world promising recipients a share in a fortune in return for an advance
fee. Those who pay never receive the promised windfall.

Anajemba, whose late husband masterminded the swindling of the Sao Paolo-based Banco Noroeste S.A. between 1995 and
1998, was charged along with Emmanuel Nwude and Nzeribe Okoli.

The prosecution said the three accused obtained the $242 million by promising a member of the bank staff a commission for
funding a non-existent contract to build an airport in Nigeria's capital Abuja.

All three accused pleaded not guilty, but Anajemba later changed her mind to enter a guilty plea in order to receive a shorter
senten was backdated )y 2004 when she was first taken in custody. The trial of the two others who
maintained their not guilty pleas was adjourned to September.

Ranked the world's second most corrupt country after Bangladesh by sleaze watchdog Transparency International, Nigeria
has given new powers to the EFCC which is prosecuting about 200 fraud and corruption cases.

The anti-fraud agency has arrested over 200 junk mail scam suspects since 2003. It says it has also confiscated property
worth $200 million and secured 10 other convictions. ($1-132.70 Naira)

Most Nigerian papers also covered this, including:

Thisday: http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=22775

419 Coalition Comment: Kudos to the EFCC Team, including Nuhu Ribadu, Ibrahim
Lamorde, Rotimii Jacobs, and all the many others who worked to get this conviction.
We re hoping, of course, for many other convictions to follow and for the repatriation
of the monies 419ed by those convicted of their crimes.

11 JUL 2005
From The Citizen, Auburn New York, (edited):

Money scams abound on Web

By Louise Hoffman Broach / The Citizen

"My name is Engr Dantata Williams," the e-mail begins. "I am the chairman of a contract awarding committee for the past three
years, with patrol Ivoire, which is a national oil firm.....the late military head of state asked me to prepare a voucher for
$45,500,000 US......."

The unsolicited correspondence and dozens of similar e-mails endeavor to entice the recipients to assist the senders in
getting money into the United States and offer a cut for the help. Williams purports to be from the Ivory Coast, but pleas for
assistance to come from virtually every African country, the majority from Nigeria.

Williams' letter is a scam, according to local and federal law enforcement authorities. It is a variation of letters proliferating
the Internet authored by the alleged wives and children of deceased dictators, lawyers left in charge of large sums of money
by people with no next of kin, business officials who suddenly find themselves with access to bank accounts belonging to past
clients, and even people on their deathbeds, wanting to atone for past wrongdoing so they can earn a place in heaven.

"They are all scams," said Michael Kaste, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Albany who works on
Internet crime. "I am not aware of any of these paying anyone any money. They just don't."

Law enforcement agencies categorize the e-mails as Nigerian 419 scams. Most of them originate in that West African nation.
They used to come through the mail, then by fax machine, and with the technology the Internet allows, they come most
frequently over e-mails. Scammers buy lists of millions of addresses and send the letters. The majority of people who receive
them recognize them for what they are, but there's a segment of the population who respond, get hooked in and bilked out of
money, Kaste said.

Nigeria - The 419 Coalition Web site, has been monitoring the scams almost 10 years. Its coordinator, Charles A. Pascale, a
Virginia security officer, estimates the scam has run since the 1980s and has cheated people out of billions.

Auburn Police Deputy Chief Thomas Murphy said the department doesn't get a lot of reports about the letters, but when they
do, they tell people not to respond and to delete them.

"It's been said many times, but if something sounds too good to be true, it is," Murphy said.

Dale Miskall is a supervisory special agent in charge of an FBI cybercrime squad in Birmingham, Ala. He's been working
Nigerian scams for the Internet Fraud Complaint Center for years and has been in Nigeria several times to help officials in that
country set up procedures to catch and prosecute the scammers.

Cooperation in that country is just beginning, although the scam letters have been around for decades. Nigeria is finally waking
up to the fact that the fraud has become so pervasive that legitimate companies in that country are having trouble attracting
overseas investors, law enforcement officials said.

In 2002, the Nigerian government created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, according to its Web site, fight "the
menace of these crimes." The commission has high-level support from the presidency, the Legislature and key security and
law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

Cayuga County Sheriff Rob Outhouse said a Weedsport firm fell for an electronic overseas fraud, but it wasn't a solicitation
letter. Outhouse said the company received a large order for parts that originated from a Third World country. The credit card
number given was valid, so the company filled the order. But shortly after, the card was reported stolen and the company was
out the money, and the parts.

"They should have been suspicious," Outhouse said. "Why would someone in a Third World country be contacting someone
in Weedsport?"

There are many variations to international Internet scams. Miskall said the biggest one is the repackaging scam where a
bogus company will advertise on Monster.com for someone to receive packages from overseas and then mail them along to
someone else. When the "employer" makes payment, it comes in a check for more than the amount owed. The check writer
will ask that the "employee" write a check, or wire money back for the difference, even offering that person a chance to keep a
little of the overage. After that occurs, it ultimately turns out the original check was bad.

A recent variation is a letter from so-called lottery officials in Spain or the Netherlands, notifying the recipient they have won
millions, but there was a mix-up that must be cleared up first. Usually, it involves sending money.

While no one has reported falling for the scam in Cayuga County, it doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

People may be too embarrassed to admit they were victimized or in the case of the 419 letters, they don't want to admit they
may have attempted a felony and got bilked instead.

Even the people who work for law enforcement aren't immune from receiving scam e-mail. Murphy said he regularly gets 419-
type letters. He can tell what they are from the subject line, and promptly deletes them.

Miskall, in spite of all of his work to expose Nigerian Internet scammers, also gets solicitation letters, including one from an
agency purporting to be the Nigerian space program.

"Did you know the first person in space was a Nigerian, and that he's still up there?" Miskall said.

"They want money to help bring him home. He's in their space station and they shoot him up food and supplies once in a

Staff writer Louise Hoffman Broach can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 238 or louise.hoffman@lee.net

7 JUL 2005
From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper:

Nigerian fraudsters have moved to W'African nations, says EFCC

By Alex Olise

CHOKING under the onslaught of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian fraudsters have shifted
their operations to nearby West African countries.

According to sources in the EFCC, in the last two months, detectives arrested 250 youths on their way to Togo and Burkina
Faso with various documents belonging to the Federal Government.

They normally used these documents to defraud foreigners.

A senior official of the EFCC said that efforts were on to work with the crimes departments of those countries with a view to
arresting Nigerian fraudsters there.

He said the Chairman of the EFCC, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), had directed crack
detectives to monitor fraudsters who move into nearby countries for nefarious businesses.

An investigation by The Guardian revealed that fraudsters who have made huge sums of money in Nigeria now send their
boys to other West African nations and open offices with sophisticated computers and Internet facilities which they use to dupe

In the 1990s, one of the major strategies used to trick foreigners was to write different companies through their managing
directors or chief executives, offering various contracts.

But fraudsters now use the Internet to dupe their victims. They sell oil blocks and buy computers and cars with fake credit

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been placing international adverts, advising foreigners to avoid communicating with
any Nigerian who gives big proposal of contracts on the Internet.

419 Coalition note: Not exactly sure what the EFCC was trying to say here,
but Nigerian 419ers have been operating from neighboring African countries
and indeed from Europe - notably Amsterdam and London - and from Canada
and elsewhere for many years. No matter where the 419ers operate "branch
offices" from, the Home Office for them remains Nigeria. However, the arrest
of these 250 alleged young 419ers is of course good news to be sure.

14 JUN 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m Scam: GOK Ajayi Returns to Trial

Appeal Court strikes out EFCC application

By Abimbola Akosile and Wunmi Yusuf

Twenty-seven days after walking out of an Ikeja High Court-room in protest,
Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole Ajayi (SAN) lead counsel to one of 3
accused persons standing trial in a $242 million advance fee fraud yesterday
re-appeared before trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.

Though his application for stay of proceedings in the lower court was struck out
at the Court of Appeal. Further hearing was adjourned till Tuesday, June 21.
Accused persons, being prosecuted by Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) include Chief Emmanuel Nwude, Mrs. Amaka Anajemba,
(2nd accused) and Mr. Nzeribe Edeh Okoli (3rd accused), who are facing a
fresh trial in a 9-month case, which began on October 5 last year and was
stalled over the ill-health of the 1st accused.

Upon resumption of proceedings at the court yesterday, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs,
lead prosecution counsel said "today's matter was adjourned for report on
proceedings at the Court of Appeal. Application for stay was refused by the
court and accordingly struck out on Monday, June 13. The only impediment
against the hearing of this case has been removed. We therefore demand
accelerated hearing dates".

Jacobs' application on the trial dates resulted in various responses from the
defence counsel present. While Chief Ajayi concurred to his request in a quiet
voice saying, "if that is the understanding, then let trial dates be fixed", Chief
Chris Uche (SAN) counsel to Anajemba (2nd accused) however urged the
court to adjourn further hearing till Wednesday (today), while pointing out the
plight of his client.

However, both Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana, counsel to Edeh-Okoli (3rd accused),
and Chief Emmanuel Ofolue, who appeared with Ajayi and also represented
Emyrus Nigeria Limited (5th accused person), sought a longer adjournment for
different reasons. Ofolue, who moved and withdrew the motion at the appellate
court, wanted a date in July for convenience, while Adeshina claimed he was
yet to get records of proceedings in the matter, and wanted time to go through
before trial resumes.

Justice Oyewole, who sought clarification on the case at the Court of Appeal
among other things, thereafter adjourned the matter till June 21 and reiterated
an order for accelerated trial; calling on all counsel in the matter to cooperate to
ensure a speedy trial.

First arraigned in Abuja on February 4, 2004, the accused persons were
alleged to have defrauded a Brazilian banker, Mr. Nelson Sakaguchi of the
sum of $242 million over a three-year period, from April 2, 1995 to January 20,
1998 at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, contrary to Sections 1(1)(a) and (3) of the
Advance Fee Fraud Act of 1995 as amended by Act 62 of 1998.

Obtained amount was said to represent payment due to the Federal
Government on the alleged contract No. FMA/132/019/82 for the construction of
Abuja International Airport, Nigeria. Penalties for each of the counts range
between seven and ten years. The accused persons are facing a fresh 98
count charge, with twelve additional counts.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

The Nigerian newspapers Vanguard and the Guardian,
among others, also covered the story.

10 JUN 2005
Dateline NBC did an excellent and lengthy piece on 419 in a
segment called Dateline: On the Hunt.

In this piece, the reporter followed a 419 scam from the receipt
of the 419 solicitation letter to arranging and attending a meeting
with the 419ers which was recorded on video and presented on the
program. These sort of sting operations have been done before, of
course, by both the electronic and the print media (Brian Wizard's
novel Game Over is a particularly good example of this) and of
course it is riveting each time since each time is unique in its
details. This Dateline piece was exceptionally well done both
in content and in video production in the view of 419 Coalition.
Kudos to Dateline and NBC for this excellent work!

There was one puzzling aspect in the piece, however. It was
stated several times that Dateline had been told by authorities
etc. (we were not clear on whom) that running sting operations
from receipt of 419 solicitation through meet with the 419ers
was not possible. This is, quite simply, not the case as anyone
who deals with 419 on a regular basis knows quite well.

In fact, sting operations like the one run by Dateline are very
possible and could be run Daily by any authority in any country
with the desire to do so and by any media in any country with
the desire to do so. Victims meet with 419ers quite often, and
anyone pretending to be a victim can do the same. (The USSS
does not recommend that "regular people" meet with 419ers
for any reason, as 419 is no game and one could end up
dead). But can meetings be Arranged without any problem
and media or law enforcement ringers used at those meetings?
You betcha. It's been possible since day one.

The problems with this approach, which 419 Coalition has
been recommending for 13 years now, are that the authorities
say that they do not have the budget or the manpower to
do these things. They also say they are worried about the
safety of their agents. They also imply that in this post 9/11
world they have other things to do with the limited resources
they have, which is true enough.

But, to say that it is "not possible" for law enforcement in the
US and elsewhere to run sting ops and takedowns on 419ers
and "catch" the 419ers (as indicated in the Dateline piece)
is neither accurate nor true so whoever told them that is
either "blowing smoke" for one reason or another, or there
has been some confusion somewhere along the line on
this point.

If the G would like these things done regularly, it can feel
free to charter 419 Coalition to do such stings, we'd be very
happy to run such ops on a daily basis for it :) We told them
that over a decade ago. It is not a problem. South Africa
already does something rather like that with its 419Legal

The video news piece also had a very good companion print
piece posted up on the Dateline MSNBC web site, here it is:

Nigerian scams keep evolving

How to spot the latest variations and avoid being duped

By Bob Sullivan
Technology correspondent

Pam Krause of Almond, Wis., thought she was helping out a desperate mother in West Africa.
Instead, she lost $18,000 to an elaborate, high-tech swindle, one of the many variations of the
so-called "Nigerian scams."

The most familiar Nigerian scam is an e-mail offering lots of free money in exchange for helping
someone with a name like Barrister Richard Okoya. The offer varies, but the theme is the same
help a downtrodden victim recover a large sum of money trapped in an overseas bank, and
you will be rewarded handsomely.

For most, the e-mails are the butt of jokes and evoke a "Who would ever fall for that?" reaction.

You'd be surprised, says Dale Miskall, supervisory special agent in charge of an FBI
cybercrime squad in Birmingham, Ala. He's been working Nigerian scams for the Internet
Fraud Complaint Center for years; in January, he went to Nigeria to testify against suspects after
a rare arrest.

There are now so many flavors of Nigerian scams, they are harder and harder to recognize, he
said. Many even avoid the trademark details: the barrister, the overseas bank, or even the
typical up-front wire payment.

"(Nigerians) are just great at social engineering. They keep finding new victims," Miskall said.
"And Americans are very gullible."

There are plenty of variations on the traditional scam. Nigerians apparently keep up with the
news. In 2001, instead of a Nigerian barrister, the missing money belonged to an Iraqi national,
persecuted under Saddam Hussein. The year before, it was family of victims of the Concorde
plane crash. Earlier this year, it was a tsunami victim; then, a U.S. solider killed in Iraq
during the war on terror. Anything to get an edge, or to catch victims with their guard down.

"This really is one of the worst e-mail scams we've ever seen, targeting the families of
American soldiers killed in Iraq," said Michael Garcia, an assistant secretary with the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, about the Iraq solider e-mail. "This is really

Can’t count on cashier’s checks

But Nigerian scams stretch far wider than e-mails asking for help moving money out of
international accounts. In a much more elaborate version of the crime, scammers participate in
legitimate online auctions, finish with the high bid, and send along a check to pay for the

The payment often arrives as a cashier's check, thought to be good as cash by many U.S.
residents. It's not.

The criminal sends more than the winning amount and asks for some to be wired back. When
victims apparently successfully deposit the cashier's check, they figure the buyer is legit, and
wire the overage, often to a bank account in Nigeria. Weeks later, the bank discovers the
cashier's check is bogus, and the depositor is responsible for the missing funds. Often, the
victim is out both the merchandise and the money.

In another variation, Nigerians offer to donate money to charities they find online; then, they
follow the same tactic. A too-big check is sent and a partial refund requested.

The key to the continuing Nigerian success, Miskall says, is the ingenuity and adaptability of
the scam artists. Many Americans have come to realize that wiring money overseas is a bad
idea. So several years ago, Nigerians started recruiting U.S. residents as go-betweens, so
they’d be able to ask victims to send money or packages to U.S. addresses.

Online classified services like Monster.com are now full of job offers for what are listed as "re-
shipping" firms. Requirements of the job are simple: accepting goods or money and
transferring them out of state. Employees get to keep a whopping 10 or 15 percent of
everything they ship. But of course, it's a scam. Thousands of people have fallen victim to re-
shipping scams, according to the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Nigerians have adapted to the popular Craigslist service, too. Landlords are contacted by
potential tenants, who offer to pay an up-front deposit by check. Once the bait is taken, the
renter asks for a return of some of the money or, at times, all of it, claiming a promised visa
from the U.S. government didn't arrive in time. Colleges around the country have warned
students about the scam.

Seduction for money

An even more insidious version involves Internet seduction. Scam artists lurk in chat rooms with
names like "40 and single," or "Recently dumped." They reach out to a lonely woman, send
flowers or candy, purchased with a stolen credit card. Eventually, they convince the new
girlfriend to do them a big favor - help transfer funds out of the bank.

A recent scam revealed by MSNBC.com combined several of these elements. A California
non-profit agency received a $3,000 check as a donation, but the donor asked for $2,000 to be
wired back to Nigeria. Meanwhile, the con artists used the non-profit's bank account information
to draft nearly $10,000 in fraudulent checks. They were sent to a woman in Alabama, who
cashed them at her bank and wired the money to a person she thought was her new Internet
boyfriend. When MSNBC called the woman, she was still convinced the man was simply
working on assignment in Lagos, Nigeria, where she had sent the money. The woman had
recently gotten divorced.

"There are a lot of lonely people out there," Miskall said. "And love on the Internet is blind."

Con artists from Nigeria even take advantage of the Internet Relay system for the deaf to trick
consumers and merchants. Special services allow the deaf to use Web pages to connect with
specially trained operators, who place telephone calls on their behalf and act as translators.
Several relay operators say the system is often abused by criminals - many from Nigeria - who
use it to place free international phone calls. Also, the fact that a relay operator is placing the
call can put merchants off their guard. Some fall for the ploy, and find themselves shipping
Bibles or wedding dresses to Nigeria, anything that can be sold for a small profit.

Nigerians have even gone so far as to create fake banks on the Internet, which appear to be
loaded with the alleged missing money. The sites might convince a skeptical consumer that
there really is $4 million sitting unclaimed in an account somewhere.

The Postal Inspection Service says authentic-looking fake money orders are also becoming

The Nigerians’ persistence seems to know no bounds. Ad-hoc bands of consumers frustrated
by the ongoing scams are fighting back by answering scam e-mails and sending criminals on
false leads, a practice know as scam baiting. But Nigerians have even used fraud fighters to
commit cons. In a recent e-mail, scammers have tried to trick people who want to support the
activities of anti-scam site 419legal.com.

"It has come to the attention of 419legal that a group of scammers have been using the name of
419legal and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in scam letters," the site says. Of course,
the e-mail says the agency is trying to raise funds to fight ... Nigerian scams.

While many of these tricks might sound obvious, Miskell says, the key to Nigerians' success is
persistence. Their plot keeps morphing, and as consumers become educated, the storyline is
altered. But there is one constant theme: an overseas wire transfer.

Ultimately, whatever yarn is spun, all the scams come down to getting a consumer to send
money via a wire transfer overseas - often to Nigeria, but sometimes to Canada or another
foreign country. It's never a good idea to wire money, particularly out of the country, Miskell

Avoiding wire transfers would put a big dent in the success of Nigerian scams

Other advice for consumers:

* Use Google. Dozens of sites now index large lists of names and other elements of Nigerian
scams. If unsure, put parts of the story into the Google search engine and click. If it's a scam,
it's likely someone else on the Internet will have published a complaint.

* Use the telephone. Nigerians will be very reluctant to give out a phone number and will try to
negotiate most of the transaction over e-mail. That buys them time to answer hard questions.
Asking for a phone number up front, along with other specific contact information that can be
verified, will short-circuit many scams.

* Verify the legitimacy of a bank. The FDIC maintains a database of federally insured banks on
its Web site.

* Always use a credit card. Consumers have wide protection when paying for Internet-based
transactions with a credit card. Checks are easily forged - even cashier's checks, sometimes
called bank checks. U.S. consumers think they are guaranteed. Banks can take up to two
weeks to confirm authenticity of a cashier's check, according to the American Bankers
Association - even if the funds are made available to the depositor. If a check doesn't check
out, the bank will take its money back. The consumer will be on the hook for any withdrawals
made against that deposited amount.

Here is the URL of this piece for as long as it is good:

8 JUN 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

419: Court Grants Ajudua Bail on Health Grounds
By Gboyega Akinsanmi,

Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, has finally granted Chief Fred Ajudua
bail, at the instance of his deterioriating health condition.

Justice Nwaka said it was necessary and indispensable to grant the accused person bail,
because his state of health grew worse daily and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
was not good enough to ensure and guarantee him sound health.

"Having listened to the submissions of both counsels, I personally visited LUTH and observed
with dismay, the deplorable condition of the hospital. And such will not promote the accused
person's good health in any sense.

"This is the third time bail application is brought before this court. I will rather prefer a healthy
person to stand trial before me and in this circumstance, it is reasonable enough to temper
justice with mercy," she said.

While the judge adjourned the matter till September 22, she said the accused person was
granted bail to the tune of N10 million with two sureties, and his wife who has landed property
within the jurisdiction of the court.

Counsel to the state, Mrs Omotola Rotimi, however, argued at the proceedings that the court
should deny Ajudua bail, because the offence he committed was so serious that he might jump
bail in the long run.

She said in the alternative, the state had consulted management of St. Nicholas Hospital
whether it would admit the accused with the condition that security operatives would keep
surveillance on its premise for the period he would be treated.

She said the doctor, who signed the medical report attached to the counter affidavit denied the
averment in the affidavit of the accused person that management of St Nicholas was averse to
the presence of security men around its premise.

"The management of St. Nicholas Hospital has obliged us this request, and shown a high level
of willingness to admit and render qualitative medical treatment. So the applicant does not have
to be on bail before he can undergo or access first-class treatment while in custody.

"Since St. Nicholas is not averse to the presence of the security men around the hospital, the
accused person does not deserve bail before having access to standard medical treatment in
the country or elsewhere.

"My lord, our position is very clear. St Nicholas did not say they cannot treat him while in
custody. Since its management has conceded to this condition, does not deny access to
standard medical treatment. I urge your lordship to dismiss his application detention", She

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

Similar articles also appeared in the Guardian and other
Nigerian newspapers.

419 Coalition Comment: Fast Freddie strikes again....

1 JUN 2005
From the Philippine Star newspaper:

Manila, Phillipines: 4 Nigerians caught in bogus money scam

By Nestor Etolle

The Western Police District (WPD) scored a major victory against organized crime with the
neutralization of counterfeit and drug syndicates in separate police operations.

In a media presentation yesterday, WPD director Chief Superintendent Pedro Bulaong
identified the foreign members of a counterfeit syndicate as Nigerians Friday Nwoke, Ikenna
Agbaegbu, Ugum Igbunam and Henry Obina Nwani.

The foreigners are accused of luring prospective victims in bogus business deals using
counterfeit money as their capital, Bulaong said.

The arrested members of a drug syndicate were identified as Nassif Abbas, Jamal Bubong
and Binladen Pangandamu, all natives of Mindanao. Seized from the group were 35 plastic
packs of suspected shabu weighing two kilos with a street value of P2 million.

Bulaong said the arrest of the Nigerians was based on the complaint of Josefina Espino, a
hardware store owner in Quiapo, Manila.

Espino told police that Igbunam came to her store and ordered a container load of welding
rods worth P8.9 million, instructing her that the finance minister of Nigeria would pay for the

A phone call supposedly coming from the Nigerian finance minister asked the victim for her
bank account number where the payment will be coursed through.

The victim sensed the sting when another call was made, this time coming from a diplomatic
agent from Nigeria, telling her that a package from the finance minister of their country is arriving
and that the victim has to shoulder the $1,800 airfreight.

Police soon conducted a stakeout operation at the Manila Hotel where the delivery of the
package would take place, resulting in the arrest of the four Nigerian suspects. Authorities
recovered from the foreigners a box containing bundles of blackened cut-out bills, chemicals,
instruction manuals and an authentic $100 bill.

Police said the suspects tell their prospective victims that the chemicals could change the
paper into genuine dollar bills.

21 MAY 2005
From The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC records first conviction

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday recorded its first
conviction when Justice Morenike Obadina of an Ikeja High Court sentenced
one Mike Amadi aka Nuhu Ribadu to 10 years imprisonment for advanced fee

A statement faxed to Saturday Punch by EFCC said Amadi was arraigned on a
five-count charge consisting of attempt to obtain money by false pretence,
obtaining money by false pretence, uttering and forgery.

He was also said to have attempted to swindle one Fabians Fajans of the sum
of $125,000 last year in Lagos and forged some documents, including the
Central Bank’s Internatonal Payment Schedule.

[The article goes on to discuss unrelated matters]

419 Coalition Comment: At last! We hope it is the first of
many convictions of 419ers, and also that the monies Amadi stole
have been recovered and repatriated to his victims. This is,
of course, the first new conviction in Nigeria of a 419er since
at least 1999; there have been only a couple of dozen in
the entire 20 year run of 419 advance fee fraud operations.
However, there are several more cases brought by the EFCC
currently in the courts, let us hope that this conviction
sets a precedent for those cases as well. Kudos to the EFCC
for getting its first 419er conviction!

17 MAY 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

‘Medical Report on Ajudua's Health Unreliable’
By Gboyega Akinsanmi

On-going hearing in the charge of advance free fraud against Chief Fred Ajudua was yesterday
stalled as the prosecution counsel, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, told the court that the medical report
tendered before it over the state of health of the accused person was not reliable enough.

Rotimi said while responding to Ajudua's application for bail, that the state could not hinge its
defence on the said medical report because there was no proven evidence to show that the
accused person's health was actually debilitating and worsening as portrayed before the court.
"We cannot," according to her, "depend on this report for lack of hard facts. As a result of this,
the state has concluded to conduct a more independent, reliable and dependable medical test
in order to know the truth about the accused person's state of health."

"The report of the yet-to-be-conducted medical test will no doubt determine our response to
Ajudua's application in which he is asking the court for bail on health ground. My lord, we are
asking for a return date to enable us conduct our own test and respond accordingly to the bail
application," she said.

Counsel to the accused person, Mr. Richard Oma Uhanaruogho, however said the response of
Rotimi constituted an infringement on the right of the accused person to bail because the current
18-count charge preferred against him was a bailable one.

"My lord, the state of health of the accused person is continually worsening and debilitating
because he is suffering from chronic kidney problem or failure.

He deserves bail at this point in time to enable him go for more intensive and comprehensive
medical treatment.

"The life of the accused person is very central to this suit. If the court continues to deny him
access to a more intensive and comprehensive medical treatment, it may result in anything
since he can no longer stand the pains he is currently undergoing. The court is expected to
move fast on this issue irrespective of any constraint," he said.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

17 MAY 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m Scam: New Counsel Stalls Trial
By Abimbola Akosile

Continuation of trial in a $242 million advance fee fraud case involving three accused persons
was yesterday stalled for two days before an Ikeja High Court judge, Justice Olubunmi
Oyewole to allow a new defence counsel prepare adequately for the trial of his client.

Accused persons being prosecuted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
include Chief Emmanuel Nwude, Mrs. Amaka Anajemba, (2nd accused) and Mr. Nzeribe Edeh
Okoli (3rd accused), who are facing a de novo (fresh) trial in an 8-month old matter, which began
on October 5 and was stalled over alleged ill-health of the 1st accused, Nwude.

Upon resumption of trial yesterday, Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana, new counsel to Okoli (3rd
accused), pleaded with the presiding judge on the newness of his brief (enlisted on May 10) but
urged court to grant him a short adjournment to enable him peruse the charges filed against his
client and prepare before a new date.

His application was supported by Chief G. O. K. Ajayi (SAN), counsel to Nwude, who informed
court about a new application he has filed on May 13, asking for stay of proceedings in the
lower court pending the determination of an appeal filed at the Court of Appeal on the instant

Opposing both applications, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, prosecution counsel, insisted that the
applications were part of defence team's moves to further delay trial in a matter which has been
stalled since October last year.

He expressed his readiness to go on with the trial as planned and that his witnesses, who were
bankers, were in court to testify on the alleged fraud.

Justice Oyewole, in his ruling, refused to grant a stay of proceedings in the matter pending an
appellate court decision as canvassed by Ajayi, though he agreed that Okoli has a right to new
counsel who must be adequately prepared for trial. He however granted a short two-day
adjournment in continuation of trial till May 18. The trial was earlier scheduled to run for a whole
week from May 16 to 20.

First arraigned in Abuja on 4 February, 2004, accused persons, were alleged to have
defrauded a Brazilian banker, Mr. Nelson Sakaguchi of a sum of $242 million over a three-year
period, from April 2, 1995 to January 20, 1998 at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, contrary to Sections
1(1)(a) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 1995 as amended by Act 62 of 1998.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

11 MAY 2005
From WBAL TV Channel 11 Baltimore, sent in
by an associate:

'Deaf' Phone Calls Bilk Businesses Out Of Money

Innovative scam artists have a new way of shopping for victims by pretending to be deaf to
dupe Maryland businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars.

WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter Barry Simms said women's clothing store M. Randall and
Company has been in business in Easton for 12 years and it isn't unusual for customers to
place orders by phone. But last November, Marc Del Pino wasn't sure if a large phone order
was a blessing or a joke.

"I laughed at him at first until I got it approved," Del Pino said.

Simms said it was a $3,400 credit card transaction, and once it was approved, all seemed

"I didn't get a feel for it," Del Pino said. "I didn't feel I was being ripped off."

In fact, Del Pino received three more orders by phone totaling more than $12,000 and shipped
the merchandise to Nigeria before he discovered the caller had used stolen credit cards.

Simms reported that what was so unusual about the story is the way the orders came in. Del
Pino never spoke directly with the purchaser; instead, he spoke to an operator used by deaf
consumers to help them shop.

The service is called Internet Protocol Relay. Federal investigators now know that criminals are
finding IP Relay an easy way to shop for new victims.

In Maryland, IP Relay is supposed to work like this: the deaf customer types a message to the
relay operator. The operator calls the business and reads the message. The business
responds. The relay operator then types a response back to the deaf customer. But by law, the
operators aren't allowed to reveal information that would disconnect the sale -- even if they feel
there's a scam going on.

"In many cases, the subjects are trying multiple credit cards to see if they will work, so the
operator will be putting credit card number after credit card number to see if it hits and quickly
recognize it's a scam," said FBI Internet Crimes Agent Dan Larkin.

Merchants like Del Pino don't find out it's a fraudulent sale until weeks later.

Simms reported this scam has affected small businesses here on the eastern shore, in
Baltimore and across the country and those business owners who have been targeted find they
have no recourse. He said they have to recover the costs.

Del Pino thought he had fraud protection from the credit card company, but it was voided
because there was no customer signature and no way to prove he talked to the real card

"I think I'm abused by both sides of the fence," Del Pino said. "I'm the one who ends up with

Except, Simms reported, the $16,000 he now owes the credit card company.

Over the past year, federal agents have seized more than $1 million worth of merchandise and
made 17 arrests in Nigeria and Ghana.

The I-Team contacted AT&T about the scam. The company said the IP Relay service is for
use only within the United States and it's trying to keep some calls from reaching operators by
blocking IP addresses from foreign countries.

Here is the URL of the story for as long as it is good:

1 MAY 2005
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

How crooks became honourables, distinguished senators, by ex-DIG Nuhu Aliyu

In this interview, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, a former deputy inspector-general of police (DIG),
elaborates on his claim that some National Assembly members are people he had arrested in
the past for grave criminal offences including advance fee fraud.

AGAINST the background of your experience, one would like to know the role expected of the
police during political campaigns and elections?

Well, the Police role is very clear as there are guidelines as provided for in the law. It is the
responsibility of the Police to make sure that campaigns are conducted under strict obedience
to the law.

That is to say that it is conducted under an atmosphere where people respect the law, free of
violence. It is the responsibility of the Police to make sure that during campaigns, no dangerous
weapons like knives, spears, guns or anything that could accelerate violence are carried by the
parties concerned. It is the responsibility of the Police to make sure that campaigners don’t
carry these dangerous weapons. It is also the responsibility of the Police to make sure that
during campaigns, permits are issued in such a way that rival parties don’t clash. That is to say
that if you are giving license to party Y on a particular day, you do not give another permit to
another party on the same day.

Permit for campaigns

Also, before you go to any campaign as a party or a candidate to any place, you must notify the
Police who will have to issue a permit for the campaign. Also if you are going out on a rally on a
particular day, it is the Police that will give you permit to carry out that rally and the Police will
also accompany you during the rally.

Do you believe that the police carried out these roles creditably before and during the 2003

Well, I am no longer in the Police and as far as I am concerned, I know that during our
campaigns in Niger State, apart from the disturbance in January 2004, during the local
government election campaigns, elections were conducted very well, free of violence, free of

But you must have heard of police collaboration with some political interest groups in other

I don’t follow the Police any more, what I am following is the progress of my party, the progress
of my campaigns and the progress of my state.

You said you met some people you apprehended as criminals as your colleagues in the
National Assembly. How really did you feel seeing them?

I felt very bad. I felt really bad because these people knew that they were experts in 419 cases.
A lot of them were apprehended and detained by the Police a number of times and to find those
people in the National Assembly, it can be very disturbing. I was really disturbed.

Are you not also disturbed that these people were not convicted?

Conviction was not my responsibility. It is the responsibility of the courts to convict and the courts
convict when they have sufficient evidence to prove a case beyond all reasonable doubts. I
don’t know if there were sufficient evidence adduced before the courts for the conviction of
these people. But there is one thing you will have to understand and that is that 419 is an offence
that was at that time very, very difficult to prove. I think it was virtually impossible to prove. I think
these people I am talking about took advantage of those lapses.

Now as a lawmaker, have you identified those lapses?

Yes, they have been corrected. There is a law now about EFCC (Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission), money laundering law. Now it is a very difficult thing, a very difficult
offence for anybody to commit this kind of economic crime without being prosecuted. Of course
the chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, did say that he had arrested a number of 419
suspects and that they are now before the courts.

Have you had opportunities of relating with these your former detainees, say in Committee

No. I have never had relations with them, other than they are members of the National

Are they in the Senate?

They are members of the National Assembly.

Don’t you think you have a moral responsibility to expose them?

Moral responsibility? All I am saying is that I am alerting the nation, that we have to be very
careful about the kind of persons we elect to political offices.

How do you think these people were able to enter into the National Assembly even as recent
as 2003?

I think what it is here is that to be a member of the National Assembly is an honour and to be a
member of the National Assembly is a privilege. If one is a member of the National Assembly,
one becomes relevant in the scheme of things in Nigeria. If you have money especially when
you have loose money (I consider anybody who has made money through 419 to have loose
money), you could play around with it, could play politics. Politics, as it is today, is politics of
money. If you have money, people don’t care, they will elect you and I think this is how these
people came about to be in the National Assembly. Even though they were people who have
had criminal activities behind them, they still want to be relevant and this is how they came to be
relevant as members of the National Assembly. They are now Honourables and Distinguished

Do they ever greet you?

As colleagues in the National Assembly we greet each other whenever we see one another, we
say Honourable or Distinguished, that is what we do.

How did you react seeing the former Inspector-General of Police in chains when he was taken
to court?

It is very sad, very sad to see somebody of Tafa Balogun’s standing, a former Inspector
General of Police to be handcuffed. It was a very big shame to the entire Nigeria Police and
indeed the nation. Now that Tafa Balogun is facing trial in court, I hope and pray that he will be
able to convince Nigerians that he had no hand in any criminal activity, especially when it
relates to siphoning of funds. Don’t forget the amount being mentioned. N13 billion. N13 billion is
a hell of money that could turn the Nigeria Police into an active service and that could provide
the wherewithal for good performance. But if it is alleged that Tafa Balogun took away that
money, it is unfortunate.

27 APR 2005
From The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

US urges tougher action against 419 suspects

The United States on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to remove
impediments militating against the speedy trial and conviction of suspects
standing trial for advance fee fraudsters and other forms of electronic crime.

The U.S Commercial Attache, Mr. Mike McGee, at a news conference in Lagos
said speedy conviction of such suspects would attract foreign investors to the
Nigerian economy .

McGee, who was briefing newsmen on the forthcoming four-day CTO 2005
exhibition, said it was heartwarming to note that the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission had made some arrests. noting that fraud had become a
serious issue which the government should join hands with the private sector
and the media to tackle.

He said the U.S government was desirous of supporting the EFCC in its efforts
because it wished to expand capacities for joint ventures between American
and Nigerian businessmen.

He said, "There has been a lot of focus, a lot of attention, a lot of talk about
this subject in your country. Just about every day, you can pick up the paper
and see it. I can guarantee that my office gets e-mails about this subject every
day. We get phone calls; we get letters from the United States about this and
companies here in the country. So, it is something that we know is extremely
serious because people want to do business here. There are a lot of
opportunities for joint ventures, for representations or to buy and sell products
between our two countries. But electronic crime is a very, very difficult inhibitor
that we must talk more about."

" So, it doesn't really matter how much we talk about it or how much your country
puts into the EFCC; if these people don't know that they are going to jail and that
their products and their possessions are going to be confiscated, it is going to
be difficult to turn the corner. There are a lot of decent people in this country;
honest people who are trying to do business in the country and around, with the
rest of the world. It is very difficult, if they don't know that they are being
protected in the fair way of doing business."

He said that the CTO, which is scheduled for May 16-20 at the Muson Centre in
Lagos, would attract high-profile personalities from the public and private
sector and is expected to discuss issues such as the protection of intellectual
and property rights; e-Commerce and emerging markets in West Africa;
securing the information highway; and the role of technology in healthcare,
education and social development.

20 APR 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

419: Ibekwe’s Co-accused Told to Seek Medical Attention

By Abimbola Akosile

An Ikeja High Court Judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, yesterday told Mr Augonous Okoro, co-
accused person to late Chief Maurice Ibekwe (House of Representatives member), in an on-
going advanced fee fraud a.k.a. 419 trial, to seek adequate medical attention and fixed new
dates for continuation of trial in the matter.

Accused person, who was given bail in the sum of N100million with a surety in like sum on
November 15, last year, is facing an amended charge filed by Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), the prosecutor, for allegedly swindling a German businessman, Mr Klaus
Richard Munch, of $330,000 and DM75,000 10 years ago.

Okoro, a hotelier, said to be seriously ill from kidney complications, was present in court
yesterday, when the matter came for up trial. His co-accused, late Ibekwe, died on March 20,
2004, of kidney complications before the matter could be concluded before another judge.
Sporting a yellow turtle-necked sweatshirt under a blue shirt, he was accompanied by a lady
dressed as a nurse, who held a drip containing some yellow liquid connected to his arm.

The matter was earlier stood to allow his counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro, to appear in court
for trial to continue. Pinheiro wrote a letter to court, urging a stand-down till later in
the day, but failed to show up.

Mr Rotimi Jacobs, EFCC counsel, told court the matter was fixed for trial and that his major
witness, Munch, was around to give evidence. He sought new trial dates, which were later
fixed for June 20, 21, 22, and 23, within which period Okoro was expected to have obtained
adequate medical attention for his ailment.

Justice Oyewole, in his ruling, said, "bail was granted to the accused person on November 15
on health grounds. Accused there-after appeared in court with improvement in his condition,
only for him to appear again with two persons, one of them a lady dressed as a nurse, albeit
with no positive identification."

"Till date, there is no medical report before me supporting the ailment. There is a witness from
Germany who is here to testify. Accused person should not be seen as the one delaying trial.
His application for a stay of proceedings was refused in this court. He is hereby advised to
seek adequate medical attention since he has been granted bail. Case is hereby adjourned till
June 20, 21, 22, and 23."

Okoro, in a suit with Charge No. ID/40C/2003, filed by State, is being charged with conspiracy
with intent to defraud, an offence punishable under Sections 419, 516, 472(2) of the Criminal
Code; for obtaining the sum from Munch, on the pretence that such monies were sundry
payments to various government officials for the payment of $30 million on contract No.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

19 APR 2005
From the Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m scam: Nwude not suffering from terminal disease

Kayode Ketefe

An Ikeja High Court, presided over by Justice Joseph Oyewole, on Monday, accepted a
medical report which claimed that Emmanuel Nwude was not suffering from any life threatening
disease, contrary to his claim.

Nwude is one of the three accused persons standing trial for allegedly defrauding a Brazilian
bank of $242million. Others are Amaka Anajemba and Nzeribe Okoli.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, the lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, tendered two medical reports, one of which established that
the accused was not suffering from any terminal ailment.

In the first report from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, dated April 13, 2005, it was
stated that Nwude was not suffering from any neurological problem constituting a threat to his

In the second report from Radmed Diagnostic Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, it was stated that Nwude
refused to cooperate with the medical personnel who wanted to conduct medical investigation
on him. He was said to have refused the insertion of any medical instrument into him.

Based on this, Jacobs urged the court to order "immediate and expeditious trial" of the matter,
which had been stalled since October, last year. He said the new evidence showed that Nwude
was fit enough to stand trial together with other accused persons.

The court granted the prayer and set down the matter for definite trial, despite the prayer of
Nwude’s lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), that the matter be adjourned "for mention" instead of
"setting it down for trial."

Tarfa had urged the court not to hold that the medical report had disproved the alleged ailment
of his client.

According to him, the last paragraph of the report showed that there were more examinations to
be conducted. "The report is not conclusive," he said.

Oyewole also dismissed the application of Nwude praying the court for a stay of proceedings
until the determination of an appeal before the Court of Appeal.

The court adjourned hearing till May 16-20.

ThisDay and other Nigerian newspapers also covered this story.
Here is the ThisDay URL for as long as it is good:

13 APR 2005
From the Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

Money laundering: EFCC seizes $700m

Ademola Oni

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission on Tuesday in Lagos claimed that it had
confiscated about $700million from money launderers.

The Secretary to the EFCC, Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, who stated this at a
seminar on the Money Laundering Act, organised by the commission and the
Financial Institutions Training Centre, did not, however, state the period within
which the money was confiscated.

According to him, the activities of money launderers have drawn the ire of
Western nations, leading to the promulgation of anti-419 laws in the United
States of America.

The US, he stated, realised that over 80 per cent of scam mails into the country
originated from Nigeria and had deemed it necessary to take tougher actions
against not only individuals but against the country.

Though, Akomaye could not supply latest statistic on the crime, he said that the
policies and legal framework adopted to combat the incident would expose
more culprits and salvage the country’s image.

He explained that the seminar was targeted at banks to enable them detect the
methods of money launderers and report same to regulatory authorities.

For there to be any attempt to conceal money, there would have been a
perpetration of acquiring such money illegally. So, we must fashion out a way of
detecting those avenues through which such crimes could be perpetrated and
how the banks could nip the fraud in the bud, he stressed.

Akomaye expressed delight that the banks had been cooperating by reporting
cases to the commission, adding that time has come for concerned agencies
to ask questions about the sources of money that enter into banks’ vaults.
When people buy shares with stolen or drug money, we must be able to
unravel the source and that is bound to ensure some sanity in our system.

He lamented that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency was
incapacitated to deal with money laundering as its enforcement was limited to
drug money alone.

The Director-General of the FITC, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, described the over
N9billion reported cases of money laundering as mind boggling.

According to him, Money laundering is an attempt to hide what is illegally
derived through drugs, embezzlement, smuggling, and forgeries. The
magnitude is such that there is an urgent need to combat and curtail it with its
attendant impact on the economy.

The Nigerian newspaper This Day did a piece on this as well.

419 Coalition Comment: Things will improve further when there
are convictions of 419ers and repatriations of recovered monies,
starting with the Ghasemi case recovered funds which have been
sitting in Central Bank of Nigeria for years now with CBN refusing
to repatriate them, though it can do so any time it likes according
to the US Government.

8 APR 2005
From the New Zealand Herald:

Woman defrauded lawyer of $1.2m

by Tony Stickley

A personable, 65-year-old conwoman dubbed "the queen of greed" duped 10 people out of
more than $2 million before losing the money to a classic Nigerian scam.

Among her victims was a lawyer, formerly a senior member of a well-known Auckland practice,
who lost $1.2 million.

The woman, Patricia Lenine Mabel Walsh, of Howick, was found guilty in the Auckland District
Court yesterday on 47 counts relating to the Nigerian fraud and a further three fraud charges
over the purchase of a $1.8 million home at Whitford.

A cousin, 78-year-old Elva Mary Medhurst, also of Howick, faced two charges of
misappropriation but died partway through the trial.

The jury heard that the 10 people who lost just over $2 million also put money into a failed
upmarket apartment project initiated by Walsh.

She and her fellow investors were conned out of their money by American fraudster Greg
Dutcher, who offered to provide finance for the project - but they had to pay fees and expenses

When Walsh approached the investors with a rescue package, they threw good money after

The lawyer, whose name was suppressed, lost $400,000 on the building project and $1.2 million
trying to recoup his loss. A 90-year-old woman lost $337,000 in the Nigerian scam.

Serious Fraud Office lawyer David Jones said Walsh concealed the Nigerian connection when
discussing the rescue package with the other investors.

She told them a Middle East benefactor was setting up a trust to help people who had fallen on
hard times through no fault of their own. She was the trust's New Zealand representative and the
funds would be under her control to dispense to people who fitted the criteria.

As in the Dutcher fraud, the investors were told that before the rescue money could be
transferred to New Zealand, they had to pay set-up costs, taxes, bank fees and legal costs.

The Crown said that Walsh, who was expecting US$28 million, was telling the victims what the
Nigerians were telling her. But when asked, she denied any Nigerian connection. Inevitably, the
US$28 million never arrived.

The Crown said that on a trip to Amsterdam, Walsh was shown boxes said by the Nigerians to
contain the money.

According to the SFO, she manufactured a large number of letters from banks, law firms and
other institutions to confirm that the money would arrive soon.

Mr Jones told the jury Walsh was the queen of greed, "a serial liar and a serial forger".

Walsh, an undischarged bankrupt, was remanded in custody for sentencing next month.

Victim wants clampdown

An Auckland lawyer, conned out of $1.6 million in two separate classic Nigerian scams, is
calling for banking restrictions to defeat overseas fraudsters.

The man, who has name suppression, lost his $400,000 investment in an upmarket apartment
complex in St Stephens Ave to an American conman.

He then lost a further $1.2 million in another Nigerian fraud involving Patricia Walsh in a vain
attempt to recover the money.

The lawyer trusted and believed Walsh when she said that an overseas benefactor was going
to help them in their financial distress.

He told a depositions hearing last year that he expected to receive $8 million. No money

After Walsh's conviction yesterday, the lawyer said the Government should act to counter the
activities of overseas fraudsters by severely limiting the amounts and frequency which
individuals could use organisations such as Western Union and Travelex to transfer money out
of the country.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

5 APR 2005
From the BBC News website:

S Africa fraudsters find new lure

By Justin Pearce

Organisers of a new "419" style e-mail scam are trying to extort money by pretending to be
involved in the fight against fraud.

The self-styled "Anti-Scam Crusaders" lured victims using a genuine South African-based anti-
fraud website.

This latest scam attempts to solicit money for the publication of a book with instructions on how
to beat scams.

Named after a Nigerian anti-fraud law, 419ers typically use mass e-mails to trick people into
parting with money.

The writer of the e-mail claims to have "understudied the Nigerian 419 actors", who "have been
able to get some morally weak citizens of other countries to collaborate with them".

The e-mail pretends to be promoting a book that "contains all it would take to knock the 419ers
out of business".

Website ban

Then comes the catch: "However, a little premium will be required from you, if you are interested
to obtain the manuscript for publication in your country."

The fraudsters registered on the 419 Legal website, a genuine anti-fraud initiative, and used the
site's private message facility to contact other subscribers.

"They approached our website last year offering help with tracing offenders in Nigeria,"
Inspector Rian Visser, the founder of 419 Legal, told the BBC News website.

"We then launched an investigation, found they were involved in fraud and banned them from
our website."

But in March this year the fraudsters reappeared, operating from a different server in Nigeria
and registering new bogus user identities.

Inspector Visser, an officer in the South African Police Services (SAPS), started 419 Legal last
year on his own initiative.

"We wanted to close down the communications networks of these criminals," Inspector Visser

"We decided we would inform the internet service providers and tell them we could provide all
the proof that was needed."

Inspector Visser said 419 Legal now had the backing of the SAPS and benefits from a network
of 5,000 informers around the world. The organisation works in co-operation with investigating
authorities in Nigeria, the UK, the US and Australia, among others.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

1 APR 2005
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, and no this is
not an April Fool's joke, we wish it were:

Court orders EFCC not to seize Nwude's shopping complex

AWKA - ANAMBRA State High Court sitting at Ogidi has ordered the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Inspector- General of Police not to take possession and
management of the multi-million Naira shopping complex at No. 9, Awka road, Onitsha
belonging to Chief Emmanuel Nwude currently standing trial for alleged 419 scam. Nwude and
others are being tried under the EFCC laws.

Nwude's Lawer, F.A.R Okafor had instituted a legal matter at the Ogidi High Court before
Justice. C.O Amaechi praying the court to among other things:

- Give a declaration that the attempt by the respondents (EFCC, Police etc) to take over the
control of properties of the applicant (Nwude) in Anambra State while he (Nwude) is still facing
trial, having not been convicted of any offence by any court of competent jurisdiction in this
country amounts to an infraction and /or infringement on the fundamental rights of the applicant
as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

- An order of the court espondents or theirng, molesting,
detaincant's agents an applicant's properties
until the determination of the criminal charges against the applicant now pending at the Lagos
State High Court.

- N5 million damages against the respondents jointly and severally for infringing the applicant's
rights to own properties anywhere in this country.

After hearing the Motions Ex-parte, the presiding Judge, Justice C.O. Amaechi granted the
prayers of Nwude and made an order restraining the EFCC or its agents from "taking over the
control of the management, asking for an account from the applicants agents and / or interfering
with the management of any of the applicants properties situated anywhere in Anambra State
including the PACIFIC Complex situated at No. 9 Awka Road, Onitsha and E.M. Petroleum
situated at Nnamdi Azikiwe avenue, Abagana, Anambra State of Nigeria until the determination
of the motion on notice". However, contrary to the court order the respondent allegedly took
possession of the applicant's property by appointing an agent to manage the shopping
complex and hiring a security outfit to replace the one employed by the applicant.

Not happy with this development, the applicant filed for and obtained Form 48 (Notice of
consequences of disobedience of court order), which he has already served on the

29 MAR 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

419: Slain Nigerian diplomat’s family demand $730,000 compensation

By Tokunbo Oloruntola, News Editor, Lagos

The family of a Nigerian diplomat, Michael Wayi, killed by a victim of a 419 deal at the Nigerian
embassy in Czech, is demanding $730,000 compensation from his alleged killer.

It also asked for a public apology from the Czech Government for the fatal shooting of the
diplomat in November 2003 over a financial scam allegedly perpetrated by some people
believed to be Nigerians.

A retired Czech military doctor, Jirl Pasovsky, who shot the diplomat was charged to a court in
Praque, the Czech capital. When the case came up for hearing on March 8, counsel to the
accused told the court he was indisposed to appear.

The counsel said his client was in final stage of cancer. The tragic event started unfolding in
November 2003, when the accused, 73, moral to unidentified person, claiming to be a Nigerian,
who offered him a lucrative investment opportunity in an oil pipeline project.

Unlike other victims of internet scam, the accused held the Nigerian Government responsible
and paid several visits to the Nigerian embassy in Praque, demanding for refund of the lost

When the accused failed to get the money, he walked into the Nigerian embassy and shot the
diplomat. The diplomat’s family is claiming the $730,000 compensation to provide financial
support for his aging family in Nigeria.

419 Coalition Comment: Nobody deserves to die over 419, not
the 419ers, not their victims, not anyone else. However, given the
above, we wonder who is being sued for compensation regarding
dozen plus victims murdered by the 419ers? (Answer, nobody,
because nobody has ever been charged with those crimes). And
just how many official apologies has the Nigerian Government
extended to the families of those victims who were murdered in
Nigeria? (Answer, none that we know of). Just thought we might
put the above situation into perspective, Big Picture-wise.

23 MAR 2005
Although 419 Coalition does not customarily deal with
"Institutional 419" (corruption) we have decided to put
up the following piece because it represents, our view,
a major policy change on the part of the United States
Government concerning Nigeria and also because over the
years it hashe officed by the new policy also "double-dip" in both
Institutional 419 and the Regular forms of 419 that
419 Coalition customarily deals with. Here is the piece,
from the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

U.S. to ban corrupt Nigerian officials

By Chinedu Offor, Correspondent, Washington D.C.

Nigerian public servants who buy choice estates and invest in the United States through shady
means are to be kept out of the country, as tales of the alleged sleaze by the just dismissed
Education Minister, Fabian Osuji, and some lawmakers have spread across the Atlantic to jolt

American officials said the scandal is one more justification to ban Nigerian officials and their

Checks at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) showed that on the average, over
15 Nigerian government officials, including governors, visit the U.S. every week.

Most of them have no reason for coming, the authorities insisted, except to buy choice estates
or make investment and those suspected to be involved in corruption will from now be banned
from entering the U.S.

Plateau State Governor, Josuah Dariye, and his associates are already in the bad books.

State Department sources said when the current investigation of several officials is completed,
the U.S. will no longer be a safe haven for serving or former governors and other government
officials implicated.

Investigation showed that American authorities are quietly investigating several governors and
members of President Olusegun Obasanjo's cabinet, which could lead to the withdrawal of their
visas and cancellation of other documents they need to enter the U.S.

"We intend to serve notice that the U.S. will not condone corruption by Nigerian officials who
take advantage of their positions to loot public funds", officials stated.

The tougher stance followed a personal message Obasanjo sent to President George Bush to
assist Nigeria in curbing corruption.

A source said: "Prior to now, these officials took advantage of our laws to hide their wealth and
where such cases go to court, they tie up the system for several years. A proclamation signed
by the President, which sealed Dariye's fate, is all that is needed to keep these officials out".

Investigation of Nigerian officials started when it was discovered that several of them own real
estates in posh areas of the country.

They allegedly use fronts to set up businesses, and are major shareholders in banks,
insurance, medical and oil related enterprises.

"An audit of the assets of present and past Nigerian government officials showed a staggering
conservative value running into trillions of dollars.

"Owners of these businesses have no other visible sources of wealth except that they are either
government officials or have been in government previously", senior administration sources

The investigators are liaising with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and
British officials to have an accurate picture of the spread of investment by Nigerian public

Those already in the frame, sources said, include two former heads of state, serving and former
lawmakers, ministers, governors and heads of agencies.

The source added: "We are getting active co-operation from Nigeria and of course will pass on
the result of our own efforts to Obasanjo".

A preliminary dossier on the "dirty officials", as our sources called the document, is on its way to
EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu.

Administration officials said the move is also to prevent the criminals from using their wealth to
influence the political environment.

"The only way to break the circle of corruption in Nigeria is to ensure that those who are elected
did not achieve their ambition in a corrupt manner and are not beholden to any person or group
in the discharge of their duties and in America. Nigeria will find a willing partner in this fight".

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition: We think that the new policy is excellent and trust
its implementation will match the intent. We think that perhaps
USG should consider "banning" other wealthy Nigerians who have no
apparent legal basis for their wealth (419ers, in short) in addition
to the "corrupt government officials" cited in the above article.
We also think that perhaps USG should consider extending these
policies to all nations. But then, we are not diplomats or lawyers
and have no particular expertise in such matters, we'll leave
that to the experts.

19 MAR 2005:
From the American Medical News:

419: New scams focus on familiar target: Physicians

By Bob Cook

Authorities say the best defense for "419" advance-fee scams is skepticism

It's amazing the number of people who want to share millions with you. Nigerian generals, exiled
Liberian government ministers, foreign lottery operators, banks trying to find heirs of someone
who died in a car crash -- the offers are all there, in your e-mail, fax machine, answering machine
and even the good old-fashioned mailbox. Why do all these people want to share riches with

The short answer is: They don't. Law enforcement authorities say they're scammers,
participating in a common kind of fraud known as an advance-fee scheme. And its practitioners,
authorities say, are increasingly targeting physicians.

Often, advance-fee fraud is referred to as "419" fraud, after the section of the Nigerian criminal
code that outlaws such scams. Nigeria is the country that popularized such scams, starting in
the early 1980s.

They seek to lure people into sending money or banking information on the pretense that it's
needed to share in the booty the scammers, posing as dignitaries or financial agents, say is
available. They also might seek to have victims travel to a foreign locale to deliver the
information -- which in some cases has resulted in the victim's kidnapping or murder.

Peter Tachauer, a detective sergeant with the City of London police, is investigating a case in
which American doctors are receiving letters, e-mails or faxes that go like this: A previously
unknown member of your family has been killed in a car crash overseas. You are the only
person left who could be related to the deceased, and you might be the sole inheritor of millions
of dollars left in an account.

The person contacting you will have details of genealogical research. All you need to do is
send money and bank account information, and the process of getting your money begins.

The missive looks good. It's got names of real Swiss banks on it, and scammers have an
amazing amount of personal data about the doctor who gets it, Tachauer said. Of course, an
American physician couldn't know that 100 Fleet St. in London, one return address, is the
location of a cobbler's shop, not a bank branch.

Tachauer said the Swiss banks contacted him because they were getting inundated by calls
about the note's "bona fides" from American physicians who had received it.

Tachauer said he didn't know how many physicians received the note, but he does know that at
least two physicians lost a collective $100,000. The doctors, whom Tachauer did not identify,
traveled to Amsterdam to deliver cash to the scammers, who said such a meeting and
transaction was necessary to pay the fees and charges for the money transfer, and legal costs
for "complications" related to it.

"What [these scammers] can do knows no bounds," Tachauer said. To the unwitting and
unwary, such a scheme "sounds plausible."

The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates financial crimes, estimates that Americans are
taken for hundreds of millions of dollars per year from such scams, though the total could be
more. Often, the agency says, victims are too embarrassed to admit they fell for it, or victims
figure -- correctly -- that catching the scammers is just about impossible.

Among the few victims speaking out is a Tampa, Fla., family physician and his wife, a nurse. In
August 2000, Ali-Reza Ghasemi, MD, and his wife, Shaleh, got a call from a man identifying
himself as a director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., a real group that oversees the
country's oil and gas industry. The man said an Iranian businessman had died in Nigeria and
left $27 million to Dr. Ghasemi. The call was plausible because the Ghasemis had abandoned
investments in their native Iran when they fled after the Shah of Iran's 1979 overthrow.

As Shaleh Ghasemi tells it, the deal sounded even more legitimate when the call was followed
by a fax of official-looking documents and instructions on how to transfer the money to a bank
account in Atlanta. But somehow there always was some glitch, fee, tax or other problem that
needed the Ghasemis' money, which they had to borrow to try to seal the deal.

Eventually, Shaleh Ghasemi called the U.S. State Dept., who told her she and her husband
were victims of fraud. All told, they lost $400,000. No arrests have been made in their case,
which Shaleh Ghasemi, a frequent poster on anti-419 Web sites, has likened to "financial

The difficulty in tracking down 419 scammers is the international nature of the crimes. In
Tachauer's case, the banks are in Switzerland, the physicians are in the United States, the
meetings are in the Netherlands, and the scammers' cell phone numbers are registered in the
United Kingdom (that's how Tachauer got involved).

"There have been arrests, but it is difficult to pin down who is doing this," said Brandon
Bridgeforth, a special agent for the U.S. Secret Service in Chicago.

One of the advances 419 scammers have made is going beyond random e-mails by trying to
find specific targets, in hopes that their pitch will be more believable and personal.

Bridgeforth said 419 perpetrators have geared letters to many specific professions, not just
physicians. But in the case Tachauer is investigating, the diversity of ethnicities in U.S. doctors
is the reason for their targeting. The notes are sent to "a lot of foreign-sounding names," he said,
figuring that those physicians would be the most likely to think they might have a long-lost
relative in another country.

The Secret Service, the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission -- as well as private citizens
and foreign governments -- all have Web sites warning about 419 fraud and how to spot it. The
Secret Service recommends that anyone who gets such a note or call, or thinks they've been a
victim of a 419 scam, contact their local Secret Service office. Offices are in all 50 states.

But the best defense against 419 schemes is skepticism. "If you're getting money, then why do
you have to send money?" Bridgeforth said. "If it's somebody you've never heard of, how did
they get your name?"

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition Note: On the Ghasemi case, Central Bank of Nigeria
announced publicly wiht much fanfare several years ago that the
Ghasemi's money had been recovered, but CBN has never sent
the recovered monies on to the Ghasemi's. CBN says the delays
are because of the US Government, but the US Government denies
these allegations and says that CBN is free to repatriate the monies.
Bottom line is that CBN still has the recovered funds and refuses
to repatriate them to the Ghasemis to date.

19 MAR 2005
From the Nigerian newspaper, Vanguard:

EFCC recovers 5,000 forged foreign bank cheque leaves from fraudsters

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized
several financial documents from a syndicate of master forgers in Lagos.
The estimated 5,000 forged cheque leaves, postal and international money
orders of various banks in Europe, the U.S and South America were seized
during an over night raid.

Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC’s Director of Operations, told reporters in Lagos
that other items such as printing plates, diskettes, a rubber stamp for an
Irish bank as well as printing papers, allegedly used to perpetrate the crime
were also recovered.Lamorde explained that this development was sequel
to the transfer of a case involving suspects from the Lagos State Police
Command on March 14, 2005 to the commission.

He said the suspect, upon interrogation, made useful revelations that
culminated in the arrest of two men described as master forgers of foreign
cheque leaves.

He said the first suspect was arrested based on information received by the
state commissioner of police’s monitoring unit at his Palm Groove abode on
Feb. 23, 2005. Forged cheque leaves, postal money orders and the printing
plates were recovered from his room.

The third suspect, was later arrested on March 16, 2005 at a printing press in
Shomolu, Lagos, where a printing plate for DHL was recovered.

The three suspects are printers and main suppliers of forged cheque leaves
and other bogus documents being fraudulently used by advance fee
fraudsters, Internet fraud as well as those seeking visas to foreign countries,
said Lamorde.

In another development, Lamorde said one Hassan Satoohi, a Saudi residing
in Medina, Saudi Arabia had the misfortune of being contacted by a
syndicate, which fraudulently obtained over $400,000 by means of money
transfer between 2002 and 2004.

The victim lodged a formal complaint at the commission late in 2004, sequel
to which he was invited to Lagos, he said. The masterminds of the scam were
arrested at a Hotel along Airport road on Feb. 10 2005 while about to collect
an additional $32,000 from the victim.

He alleged that Obinna Oguinne, 38-year old, posed as Malik Mohammed, a
senior accountant of the NNPC, in the course of the crime. The second suspect,
33 year-old Michael Mbagwu, used the name of Duru Chinedu in collecting
most of the money transferred.

Lamorde said several forged documents, purportedly emanating from the
CBN, NDLEA and NNPC featured prominently in the scam, saying computers
were recovered from the abode of the first suspect at Festac town, Lagos.

Similarly, the commission arrested at least three secondary school
students, involved in a credit card fraud and obtaining goods under false
pretences.According to him, one Abiodun Shittu a 21-year old allegedly bought
life jackets and Sony Ericson phones, worth over 16,000 Australian dollars by
means of stolen credit cards in late 2004. He said the suspect used ‘Hammed
James,’ of Symbernet Nig. Ltd, 4 Jenrola Street, Mafoluku Oshodi to procure
the goods, adding that the case was reported to the EFCC by the Australian
High Commission in Abuja on Jan. 12, 2005.

The suspect on his part allegedly ordered for goods from the victim, unknown
to him that his activities were being monitored, Lamorde said.

17 MAR 2005
Our associate Ultrascan in Holland is looking for information
from victims of these four alleged 419ers. Please contact Monica
immedately at:


Here they are:

Additional photos of alleged 419ers for whom Ultrascan is looking
for information from their victims can be found of the following URL:


16 MAR 2005
News release from the Government of Hong Kong:

Hong Kong: First Nigerian email scammer jailed

Hong Kong has successfully prosecuted its first Nigerian email scammer. A 30-
year-old Nigerian man was jailed four years today for a US$26 million scam, in
which he was convicted at the District Court of attempting to obtain property by
deception and possession of a false travel document.

Last March, emails were spammed to a large number of recipients telling them
that after the death of an African official, a US$26 million fund left unattended
was in Hong Kong pending transfer via a local bank account to a foreign one.

The case was reported to Police on April 29, and arrangements were made to
hold a meeting in a Wan Chai hotel on May 14 between the swindler and two
undercover officers.

After he demanded an administration fee of US$24,000, the swindler was
arrested, and two fake passports and three forged rubber stamps were found
in his Yuen Long residence.

Police reminded web users to beware of email fraud.

13 MAR 2005
From the New York Daily News:

Net scammers exploit Iraq, tsunami

By Helen Kennedy

A wounded former military aide to Uday Hussein has the secret codes to foreign bank accounts
where millions worth of Saddam Hussein's loot is stashed.

And he wants to give half to you.

British soldier Jerry Smith found $35 million in one of Saddam's palaces and wants you to help
smuggle it out.

Qusay Hussein's ex-mistress, writing from a refugee camp, wants to give you the PIN number of
his Spanish bank accounts so you can get her the money.

The 20-year-old Nigerian scam has been tarted up with a shiny, newsy gloss. "The scammers
have always used current events as the basis for their 'tales' in order to give them more
credibility," says C.A. Pascale, an expert in the Nigerian scams.

It only took a week for the first tsunami-related scam E-mails to start flowing after the Dec.
26 Indian Ocean tragedy. In that one, bogus survivors said they needed help getting dead
relatives' money out of the country.

Nigerian scam spams fill up nearly everybody's mailbox these days, and many people
assume no one falls for the badly spelled come-ons. But experts estimate thousands of
Americans pay $100 million to $300 million a year to the crooks. The number could be much
higher because many victims are embarrassed or worried they broke a law.

There are few hard statistics because no one agency is in charge of battling the scammers, but
Nigerian complaints to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center were up 66% last year.

Marks have lost more than money. The State Department tied 15 murders in three years to the
scam. In December, a Cypriot was tortured and burned to death in South Africa, allegedly by
Nigerian scammers.

Also known as "advance fee fraud" or "419 fraud" after the relevant section of the Nigerian
Criminal Code, the scam began in the 1980s with handwritten letters, graduated to faxes and is
now an E-mail scourge. It is estimated to be Nigeria's third-largest industry.

"For some reason, 419 is primarily a Nigerian thing, why we do not know, and nobody else
does either, " said Pascale, who heads the 419 Coalition.

The fleecing has so sullied the image of legit Nigerian business, the government issues
periodic warnings. Cops aren't the only ones trying to shut down the scammers. Calling
themselves "scambaiters," online vigilantes string them along and try to get the con men to
send THEM money.

On a Web site called 419eater.com, Mike (he keeps his last name off-the-record to protect
himself) posted a clip of his cell-phone call with a scammer posing as a rich dead oilman's
lawyer, whom he had convinced to send $718 as a goodwill gesture before a large fund

As Mike assures the Nigerian he is just arriving at the Western Union office to send his life
savings, one hears a realistic squealing of tires, a giant crash and Mike moaning, "I don't want
to die." There follows long minutes of sirens while on the other end, the scammer, $718 in the
hole, just keeps uncertainly repeating, "Hello, hello, hello?"

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

12 MAR 2005
From the Philippine Star:

Filipino ship captain duped, loses P250,000 ($5,000) to Nigerian

By Nestor Etolle

Police and immigration officials have issued an alarm against a Nigerian
national who reportedly duped an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) of P250,000
in an easy-money making scheme.

In a complaint filed before the Western Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group, Jaime Inocencio, 45, a captain of a foreign-based vessel, identified the
suspect as one Freeman Kingsley.

According to the victim, he met a Nigerian named Garuba when his ship made
its port call in La Goulette, Tunisia last month.

The Nigerian offered him a business partnership, naming his brother Kingsley
as his contact in the Philippines.

Upon arrival in the country, the victim said he got a call from Kingsley with
instructions to meet him at a hotel in Pasay City. During their meeting, the
Nigerian asked for $5,000 (roughly P250,000) as his share in the business
venture. The suspect also told him that his own cash is contained in a briefcase
which they claimed at the hotel’s diplomatic courier.

The duo then proceeded to the suspect’s room at Amazonia Hotel along M.H.
del Pilar street in Ermita, Manila.

Once inside the room, the suspect opened the briefcase which contained
bundles of blackened paper bills covered with white powder and wads of
cotton. The suspect said the blackened paper bills are genuine dollar bills
which underwent a camouflage process to hide its value worth millions. The
suspect even showed what looked like a genuine instruction manual from the
US Embassy on how to remove the black powder from the bills.

The suspect got one of the blackened paper bills and poured a special liquid
on it, revealing a genuine $100 bill. The victim said he was able to exchange
the bill into pesos at a nearby money exchange shop.

The suspect then told the victim that he needed to secure more of the special
liquid since what he carried was not enough to erase all the black powder from
all the bills. He then left the room.

The victim said the suspect never returned. He tried to examine the blackened
bills inside the brief case and found out that they were only pieces of cut-out

Western-CIDG chief Superintendent Nelson Yabut said the US Embassy
confirmed the instruction manual was fake and denied having issued any such

Yabut also requested the immigration bureau to issue a hold departure order
against the suspect.

He warned the public, especially OFWs, not to be deceived by any money-
making scheme by foreigners.

11 MAR 2005
From SFGate.com (the San Francisco Chronicle):

Eight years prison for Sacramento man in $2 million Nigerian bank scam

A Sacramento man of Nigerian descent was sentenced to more than eight years in federal
prison Friday for running an international investment scam that defrauded investors of more than
$2.1 million through a Nigerian advance fee scheme.

Roland Adams, 38, admitted that he conspired with others in Nigeria, South Africa and Canada
to run the scheme. Potential investors were mailed letters supposedly from African government
officials who wanted help in diverting millions of dollars held in bogus trusts or accounts.

In exchange for a future share of the fictitious money, the victims were persuaded to send in fees
of several thousand to several hundred thousand dollars to individuals or accounts around the

Adams, who owned Adams Business Services, gave the scheme an illusion of legitimacy by
setting up Web sites such as Afribankcorp.com, Bancofafrica.com and
Bancofeasterncarribean.com where victims could track the false transactions.

He pleaded guilty in August 2003 to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and conspiring to
launder money, and was sentenced to 97 months in prison.

He also was ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to victims, a portion of which will
be paid from the forfeiture of his Elk Grove home and $87,000 in various bank accounts.

He was separately convicted in April on charges of making false statements during his
naturalization interview, and sentenced to an identical prison term to be served at the same
time. As a result, he was stripped of his U.S. citizenship Friday and will be deported back to
Nigeria after he completes his prison sentence.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

10 MAR 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m Scam: Anajemba Decries Delay

By Abimbola Akosile and Faith Ayangbeso

Second lead counsel to Amaka Anajemba (Mrs), Chief Chris Uche, (SAN), has decried
continued delay in a six-month old trial involving $242 million Advance Fee Fraud a.k.a. 419
scam, inwhich his client, insisted that she was suffering in prison and ought to be set free
of the charges against her.

Amaka is standing trial alongside Chief Emmanuel Nwude and Mr Nzeribe Edeh Okoli, in a de
novo (fresh) trial, which began on October 5.

Speaking yesterday before presiding judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court,
Uche claimed Anajemba has become a victim of circumstance as a result of several
adjournments of the matter.

"This cannot continue. It is like we are no longer necessary in this matter. We do not know what
is happening. I apply that the charges against second accused be struck out. I want the court to
take note of the fact that we are suffering," he submitted.

However, Oyewole, ordered that first accused person in the matter, Nwude (whose health status
had led to adjournments in trial), should be taken by a team of officials of Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and his defence counsel, Chief G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN), to
Rad-Med Special Diagnostic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, for proper test on his ailment,
before treatment continues at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos.

According to a LUTH report dated February 10 and investigation carried out by Mr F.O.
Adetayo, Consultant Surgeon and Urologist, Nwude, aged 51 years, with Hospital No. 460933,
was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis, while he complained
of haematuria, a serious symptom which requires proper investigation to determine its cause.

419 Coalition Comment: It is the Defense in these proceedings
which has continually delayed them, so in this matter we'd suggest
that the attorney from the second defendant speak to the attorney
of the first defendant and get things underway. We do agree that
it is way past time to get matters moving against Both defendants,
let's get the show on the road.

9 MAR 2005
From the International Transport Workers Federation:

Nigerian fraudsters use 'UK' connection to scam jobseekers

Global union the ITF today issued a warning to anyone looking for work on
board ships and oil rigs that fraudsters have made Nigeria the new centre
for scams offering non-existent jobs for moneykers' Federati reports that three
known Nigerian criminal operations - including one purporting to be based in
Redhill, Surrey, England - are currently trying to defraud innocent
jobseekers worldwide. Their usual trick is to ask for 10 per cent of an
applicant's first month's wages for a job on a fictional ship that just
happens to be stopping at Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to where the money should
be paid.

David Cockroft, ITF General Secretary commented: "In the overcrowded field
of money for jobs at sea scams Nigeria has rocketed to the top of the list
of offenders. We repeat our warning that if you have to pay for a job in
advance, it probably doesn't exist. If the offer comes from Nigeria, then it
definitely doesn't. Charging seafarers for jobs is outlawed by ILO
Convention 179 - to which Nigeria is a signatory."

"The number of scams offering fake jobs on cruise and cargo ships and
oilrigs continues to grow, and it has been years since anyone has been
prosecuted for these crimes that often hit the world's poorest people. So
far the largest was the UAE based Al Najat scandal, whose Pakistani
perpetrator escaped with millions of dollars because none of the governments
who knowingly or otherwise cooperated with or hosted him would press
charges (http://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/337 ).

The longest running is Caledonian Offshore, supposedly based in Canada,
but actually run from Panama
(see http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/186 and
http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/198 ). We're glad
to say that following lobbying and our meeting with that country's Vice
President some kind of an investigation is finally underway there. But the
prize for the most prolific recent efforts goes to the fraudsters of Port
Harcourt." [Nigeria]

According to the ITF fraudulent organizations offering jobs on non-existent
ships in return for advance fees in the last six months include:

A fake operation calling itself 'Swift Consulting UK, 1st Floor, Furness
House, 53 Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 6PZ. Telephone +44
7040118143. Fax: +44 8716614073. Recruitment Officer Alan Smith.' The ITF
can confirm that there is no such company at the address. Callers to West
African-accented 'Adam Smith' are asked to send their seafarers'
certificates and promised jobs in return for a fee of US$350 (supposedly 10%
of the first month's wages to be earned). The money is to be paid via a
Western Union or similar money transfer to Port Harcourt, made out to Mr
Okechukwu Emeka, described as the accountant of Ideal Travel Agency, Inc of
Nigeria. In the last week the ITF has been contacted by seafarers from
Egypt, Poland and Russia inquiring about the company. All have received
messages from 'Swift Consulting UK' offering them jobs on the non-existent
ships SS Queen Ridge and MV Sea Goddess. The scamsters appear to have got
their contact details after they left their CVs on what they believed were
legitimate jobsearch websites.

One of these inquirers was also approached with a near identical deal of
work on the vessel 'Lucy Frontier', paying US$3,500 per month, in return for
a 10% 'agency fee'. The e-mail claimed to be from 'Mike Obi, Manning
Manager, Haddow Maritime Africa, 8th-10th Floor, Supabod Building, Azikiwe
Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, Tel: +23484480320'.

The names Mike Obi and Lucy Frontier also appear on another operation
identified by the ITF as fraudulent: Agent Africa Nigeria, which uses the
website http://www.agentafrica.xaper.com/index.html to defraud job seekers.
The site gives the address of '# 3 Onne Road, G.R.A, Port Harcourt, Rivers
State, 50001 Nigeria Tell (sic): 08027609549, Fax:084237536, email
aanig@xaper.com'. The ITF first issued a warning about Agent Africa
Nigeria/Hado Maritime/Haddow Maritime Africa in September 2004 (see
http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/180 ). At that
time they claimed to have vacancies on the container vessel Maria, which
does exist but has no connection with Nigeria.

David Cockroft concluded: "In the past and in the absence of any police
action we have done our best to expose these hateful scams as quickly and
widely as possible, by naming them and their methods. However, in the case
of these Nigerian frauds it appears that the perpetrators are choosing to
use multiple names and email addresses, rather than, like Al Najat, remain
at one address under the benevolent eye of the UAE authorities or, like
Caledonian Offshore, seek to hide their office through a web of post boxes
and forwarding services. As a result we have little option but to warn
anyone looking for a job or who has been contacted with a job offer that at
any point asks for any kind of payment, even one from an apparently British
company, to look for a Nigerian connection and then treat the offer with the
contempt it deserves."

For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson. Direct line: +
44 (0)20 7940 9260. Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk International Transport
Workers' Federation - ITF: HEAD OFFICE ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road,
London SE1 1DS Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733, Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871.
Email: mail@itf.org.uk

3 MAR 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

419: Ajudua Faces Fresh 18-Count Charge

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

Barely a fortnight after a Lagos High Court refused his application for bail, an 18-count fresh
charge has been filed against an advanced free fraud king-pin, Chief Fred Ajudua, challenging
him for allegedly swindling a national of United States, Engineer Montia Rice over US$2million.

The charges arise from the submission of Ajudua's counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, who argued that
the previous charge preferred against him did not contain Rice's statement.

Indications also emerged that fresh charge preferred against the accussed person had been
transferred from Justice Oluyinka GbajaBiamila of the Lagos High Court to another court over
which Justice Sybil Nwaka presided.

No plea had been taken in the new charged, as a result of the fact that the accused person was
seriously sick and that the matter had been transferred to a new judge in the Lagos High Court.
Ajudua, after Justice Nwaka dismissed his application to quash the previous 14-count charge
preferred against him, had approached a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, to challenge the
decision of the trial court which refused to grant his bail application.

In the fresh charge with No: LCD/8/05 endorsed by Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution
(DPP), Rice is listed as evidence-in-chief, as soon as the fresh trial commence before Justice

Other prosecution witnesses include, Mr S. Dahunsi, a Superintendent of Police, Mr J. Idiata, a
Deputy Superindent of Police and Mr A. Fadairo, another Deputy Superindent of Police who
have been listed to witness at the trial. Ajudua is currently facing an 18-count charge in which he
was alleged of swindling and obtaining "money under false pretences contrary to Section 419
of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003."

It is also indicated in the new charge that "Ajudua is charged for conspiracy to commit felony,
punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C17, Volume 2 Laws of Lagos
State, 2003."

Particulars of offences states as follows: Fred Ajudua (m) on ot about June 10, 1995, at Lagos,
in the Lagos Judicial Division, obtained the sum of US $175,000.00 from Engineer Montia A.
Rice, through Crystal Bank of Africa Ltd of 17, Balogun Street, Lagos, by falsely pretending that
the sum was due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria as taxes on the purported
contract No: GF/GN/FMF/84 worth of US$12, 000,000.00.

In his statement with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Maryland State
Police, United States, Rice noted that "this statement, without reservation, declaresthe
document presented to the authorities in Lagos, Nigeria, claiming that I received N11million
on January 22, 1992 to be a complete fraud.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

2 MAR 2005
From the Financial Standard (Online) UK:

Transparency International boss lauds EFCC

Transparency International has lauded the establishment of the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission to fight corruption in Nigeria.

Professor Peter Eigen, chairman of Transparency International, made this remark last week,
describing the creation of the EFCC by the federal government under the leadership of
President Olusegun Obasanjo as ‘more than one step in the right direction’.

Eigen who paid a courtesy call to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, executive chairman of EFCC, said it is
clear that after the creation of the body, a lot has been done to change laws against corruption
in Nigeria and his body is happy that even the most powerful people in the society are being
dragged to courts to face charges of economic and financial crimes.

Commenting on the recent classification of Nigeria by Transparency International as the third
most corrupt country in the world, Eigen said the survey used did not include the recent
improvements in the country on the war against corruption and corrupt practices.

Mr. Ibrahim Balarabe, Media and Publicity Unit of EFCC said Eigen acknowledged that
Transparency International has not been completely fair to Nigeria in classifying it as the
third most corrupt country.

Earlier, Ribadu who had a close door session with the guest took him round the commission’s
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), a department in charge of combating money
laundering and financing of terrorist activities in Nigeria.

1 MAR 2005
The March 2005 US Edition of the Reader's Digest contains
an excellent article on 419: "The $100 Million Scam - And why
Americans keep falling for it" by Hal Karp. The piece is too
long to be reproduced here, but most libraries will have a copy
of this issue of RD. The piece contains a general description
of 419 and discusses the magnitude of the problem, and goes
on to describe the experiences of an Idaho man with a Black
Currency 419 scam.

As an aside, several issues iof the European edition of Reader's
Digest in several different languages have also carried stories on
419 in the past.

26 FEB 2005
Here is the latest in from our Proud 419er in today (see 23
FEB 2005 news item below for his first note), which we post
here with its headers and our response, he really is refreshing
in his open rapacity, is he not:

Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
s=s1024; d=yahoo.com;

77kLGGWGDTz0IivT2tsca1Kl0w9olzFT6h3vrxN6aB/U9XpAxXE= ;
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 07:13:00 -0800 (PST)
From: chichi ngozi
Subject: VIVA 419
To: "C. A. Pascale"
X-RBL: is listed by bl.spamcop.net


I have just concluded a transaction with a greedy Australian. By 19hours GMT today, I will be

You guys can pulish what you like, as long as greedy people exist, I will always have

VIVA 419

And our response:

Mr. Ngozi:

Thanks, we will be looking forward to the latest

419 Coalition

23 FEB 2005
We got an interesting note from a "Proud 419er" in today,
which we post here with its headers, for your perusal, enjoy:

Received: (qmail 24192 invoked from network); 24 Feb 2005 02:28:27 -0000
Received: from web41804.mail.yahoo.com (
by mx10.rmci.net with SMTP; 24 Feb 2005 02:28:27 -0000
Received: (qmail 21444 invoked by uid 60001); 24 Feb 2005 02:28:27 -0000
Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
s=s1024; d=yahoo.com;
b=P4xJPzS64Eb7jaGHCAQJjtrkP0HtnCodJujNxZRleIj48BhSS5TKewEQhN/Lm/ZG7PAK8Pi3JoBBlTLb8dWBU90eCpJq1XP06zKr6PgeLr4oLiNlraIt4inPzo8IeHCY93rYcIkGbM+9NqbvaeUt8flNhdMAa/wWdJQ+9IjiGoU= ;
Message-ID: <20050224022827.21442.qmail@web41804.mail.yahoo.com>
Received: from [] by web41804.mail.yahoo.com via HTTP; Wed, 23 Feb 2005 18:28:27 PST
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 18:28:27 -0800 (PST)
From: chichi ngozi
Subject: 419
To: info@freemaninstitute.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="0-1382324575-1109212107=:19743"






VIVA 419

And here was our response, as you can see we are true to
our word:


Thank you for your frank note. We'll post it up in our news
section today and see to it that your views have the widest
possible circulation.

419 Coalition

18 FEB 2005
There have been arrests for 419 in Belgium, according
to the Belgian newspaper de Tijd, sent in by Ultrascan.
A rough English summary of the article would be:

in short it says: in total 5 arrested, of which 3 during a Tsunami scam
while meeting a french victim, Other Belgian victims were a notary,
the rector of a university and a couple officers of the court.
Found were 3 suitcases with 15 million low quality fake dollars

Here is the article in its original text, looks like Dutch:

Politie waarschuwt voor oplichting via spam-mails

(belga) - De federale politie waarschuwt voor een nieuwe oplichtingspraktijk via e-mail, de
zogenaamde oplichting 'à la Nigeriane'. In België hebben al enkele gerechtsdeurwaarders,
een notaris en een rector van een universiteit zich in de luren laten leggen, aldus de politie.

'De modus operandi is steeds dezelfde(, vertelde Glenn Audenaert, gerechtelijk directeur van
de gerechtelijke dienst van het arrondissement (GDA) Brussel. Per dag worden drie miljoen
spamberichten verstuurd via het internet. Daarin vertelt iemand uit Zuidoost-Azië dat zijn of haar
ouders, die succesvolle handelaars waren, zijn omgekomen bij de tsoenami van 26 december.
Die ouders hadden zogezegd een kapitaal in Europa, maar de wees is momenteel niet in staat
om dat geld zelf te gaan halen. 'In de mail wordt dus aan de ontvanger gevraagd het geld op te
halen, in ruil voor een fiks commissieloon', aldus Audenaert.

Europeanen die op de oproep reageren, worden voor een eerste ontmoeting uitgenodigd naar
een ander land. Daar ontmoeten ze zogenaamde mensen van een veiligheidsfirma, die koffers
vol valse dollarbiljetten hebben. 'Om het geld te krijgen moet het slachtoffer daar al tussen de
10.000 en 50.000 euro neertellen', vertelt Audenaert. Daarna wordt een nieuwe ontmoeting
geregeld om 'een consul om te kopen om het geld het land uit te krijgen'.

Vorige week woensdag heeft de afdeling witwassen van de GDA Brussel drie personen
kunnen oppakken die een Frans slachtoffer probeerden op te lichten. Daarbij werden drie
koffers met voor zowat 15 miljoen valse Amerikaanse dollars in beslag genomen.

In totaal werden tot nu toe al een vijftal mensen opgepakt die aan deze oplichting meewerkten.
'In drie kwart van de gevallen gaat het om Nigerianen', aldus Audenaert.'Deze methode
bestaat al een tiental jaar, maar het nieuwe is dat men nu de tsoenamiramp misbruikt om
slachtoffers op te lichten', stelt Glenn Audenaert. Er zijn momenteel verschillende
oplichtersbendes die dezelfde methode gebruiken en grensoverschrijdend werken.

Hoeveel mensen al het slachtoffer zijn geworden van deze techniek, is niet bekend. Heel veel
gedupeerden dienen geen klacht, omdat ze bang zijn dat hun zwart geld aan het licht zou
komen, of dat ze zelf beschuldigd zouden worden van witwaspraktijken.

'De gedupeerden handelden allemaal uit puur geldgewin', vertelt Audenaert. 'Tot nu toe
hebben we al weet van gerechtsdeurwaarders, een notaris en een rector van een universiteit
die zich hebben laten oplichten', luidt het.

Here is a link to the article for as long as it is good:

18 FEB 2005
From the ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

Senate Passes ‘419’ Bill

From Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja, 02.17.2005

The Senate yesterday finally passed the amendment to Advance Fee Fraud
Act, which would check the use of cyber cafe facility to commit offences.

The bill, when assented to by President Olusegun Obasanjo, compels
operators of electronic communication service, to obtain from their customers,
their full names and addresses and provide them on demand to the regulatory

Internet Service Providers who fail to or supplie false information would have
committed an offence and could be jailed for one year or fined N100, 000, while
owners of such facilities would on conviction pay N100,000 and have their
equipment seized.

A section of the Bill also provides that owners of electronic telecommunication
houses must maintain a register of all fixed line customers, which could be
inspected by any authorised officer of the National Communications Co-
mmission (NCC), even as it further provided that anybody who uses the non-
fixed line or the Global System of Mobile Communications should submit to the
Commission necessary data required by the Commission.

419 Coalition Note: Very impressive, if this bill is massively enforced.
Time will tell, let us hope for the best. We'd like to see a provision added
which specifically gives the EFCC access to all this data on demand.

8 FEB 2005
From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

Money laundering: Bank chairmen, CEOs now co-offenders, says CBN

By Babajide Komolafe & Yinka Kolawole

LAGOS-THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that chairmen, board members and chief
executives of banks "will not be spared if their institutions are found to have been used as
vehicles for the transfer of proceeds of crime." The CBN threatened to penalise bank
executives that allow their banks to be used for fraudulent funds transfer.

The apex bank gave this warning in a circular entitled: "The unprofessional roles of banks in
funds transfer," issued February 1, 2005, and signed by the Director of Banking Supervision
Department, Mr Ignatius Imala.

The CBN said: "In recent times, the media has been replete with stories of unprofessional
activities by banks in facilitating the movement of criminally acquired funds. The release of
the Know Your Customer (KYC) Guidelines and Manual Ref: BSD/DO/CIR/VOL.I/01/24 of
November 28, 2001 and BSD/14/2002 of December 19, 2002 respectively, by the CBN, was
intended to guide banks in ensuring that they were not used as conduits for moving such funds.
Furthermore, the reports of the CBN examiners on several '419' and other irregular transfer
cases had led to the imposition of penalties on the affected banks to serve as a deterrent.

According to the circular, "The reports of the unprofessional roles of banks in the 'bad
business' is increasingly becoming embarrassing to the industry and should be totally
checked. While it is expected that the on-going consolidation and the strengthening of the
capital base of the banks will lead to sound, more professional and better managed institutions,
all the operators in the industry are hereby advised in their own interest to diligently review
their processes in total compliance with the KYC guidelines and manuals referred to above.

"They are also advised to note that the CBN Governor's special e-mail address
governor@cenbank.org for capturing information on malpractices by banks is still available to
the public. Only the Governor of CBN has access to this web address, and information sent to it
is treated with utmost confidentiality.

"The chairmen, board members and chief executives of the banks, in line with their oversight
functions, are, therefore, advised to take these matters very seriously as they will not be spared
if their institutions are found to have been used as vehicles for the transfer of proceeds of
crime," the circular said.

419 Coalition comment: We are under the impression that monies sent
in and out of Nigeria are often "transited" through CBN, which functions
like a combination of a Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in
the Nigerian banking structure. We ask - what will CBN to do punish
Itself when laundered monies pass through it? Also, 419 Coalition
asks When will the affairs of Paul Ogwuma, ex -Governor of CBN, be
looked into, recalling that Ogwuma was named as a principal in
several 419 cases and was even hauled in to US Court and forced
to give a deposition as a defendant in a 419 lawsuit? Also recalling
that he has been named as a principal in other 419 cases that have not
come to court? Most assuredly, his financial affairs should be examined
by the EFCC, if only to "remove all doubt" that he has been complicit
in 419 activities over the years.

21 JAN 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

Again, Court Refuses Nwude Bail Application

By Abimbola Akosile and Amina Amali

An Ikeja High Court judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole has dismissed a second bail application

filed by Ch g Advance Fee Fraud a.k.a.
419 trial involving $242million. The judge refused the application on the grounds that it
application was incompetent.

Nwude, who is standing trial in the four-month old matter alongside Mrs. Amaka Anajemba, (2nd
accused) and Mr. Nzeribe Edeh Okoli, in a de novo (fresh) trial, which began on October 5, was
not in court at last adjourned date (on Wednesday). He is currently under -going treatment at the
National Hospital, Abuja, allegedly for a kidney-related ailment, and his absence stalled the

The presiding judge, who earlier ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) to obtain a medical report on accused's health status, in a bid to determine continuation
of trial, however refused and rejected the bail application filed by Nwude, through his counsel,
Chief Alex Izinyon, SAN.

A mild argument occurred between Izinyon and lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs,
on the issue of medical report ordered by the court. Jacobs accused Izinyon of going behind
him, contrary to court orders, to obtain the report from the hospital. Izinyon also countered that
Jacobs was only concerned about the trial, and not his client's state of health, when he wrote a
letter to the hospital asking that Nwude be transferred to Lagos to face trial.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Oyewole claimed an appeal on his earlier ruling on bail
request (filed by Nwude) was pending before the Court of Appeal, and granting the fresh
application would amount to stepping on the higher court's jurisdiction. He added that he will do
that, unless the accused files a notice of discontinuance, or the notice is struck out by the higher

The judge also claimed there was no deviation in the new medical report on the accused
applicant (Izinyon told the court his client was stooling blood), which would have warranted a
fresh application for bail being granted. He thereafter refused and dismissed the bail
application, and adjourned the matter till February 9,11,14,15 & 16 for continuation of trial.

First arraigned in Abuja on February 4th, 2004, accused persons, were alleged to have
defrauded a Brazilian banker, Mr. Nelson Sakaguchi of a sum of $242million over a three-year
period, from April 2, 1995 to January 20, 1998 at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, contrary to Sections
1(1)(a) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 1995 as amended by Act 62 of 1998.

The amount was said to represent payment due to the Federal Government on the alleged
contract No. FMA/132/019/82 for the construction of Abuja International Airport, Nigeria.
Penalties for each of the counts range between seven and ten years. The accused persons are
facing a fresh 98 count charge, with twelve additional counts.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

14 JAN 2005
From the Daily Independent (Online) a Nigerian

Alleged 419 : Nwude is dying, counsel tells court

By Victor Efeizomor
Law Reporter.

The Advance Fee Fraud suspect, and a former director of Union Bank Plc,
Emmanuel Nwude, standing trial for allegedly defrauding a Brazilian bank of
$247 million is said to be seriously ill and currently in the intensive care
unit of an Abuja hospital.

The suspect is to undergo a second major surgical operation at the Abuja
General Hospital next week to be performed by a team of neurologists and
brain specialists to stabilise his health condition.

Emmanuel Ofulue, counsel to Nwude who made this known on Thursday at the
resumed trial at an Ikeja High Court, told the presiding judge, Justice Joseph
Oyewole that the health condidtion of his client was critical adding that "Since
he was admitted , I visited him and the condition was serious and he is
considering a second operation. We are grateful to the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allowing him to go back to the
hospital, where he was operated upon," he said.

But controverting the claims, Rotimi Jacobs, an EFCC lawyer and prosecution
counsel stated that Nwude’s condition was not as serious as the defence
counsel wants the court to believe ,adding that he could not contact the doctor
handling the case on his visit to the hospital to ascertain the true position of
the accused person.

Oyewole, on that score ordered that a medical report should be forwarded to
state the true position of Nwude’s health and dismissed an oral application brought
by Amaka Anajemba, one of the suspects standing trail ,asking the court to grant
her limited and conditional bail in view of the recent development.

Arguing the application, Anajemba’s counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) told the court
that the condition under which his client was being detained is in such a terrible
state as it has started having serious impact on her health , saying that Amaka
is a victim of circumstance.

"I am asking that if she is granted limited bail, she will regularly attend the court
proceedings to stand her trial. We will agree to any condition, even if it amounts
to reporting to EFCC on a weekly basis. She has enough property of her own
and she will not run away from the country", Uche pleaded with the court.

Jacobs countered the defense counsels argument, positing that the issue of
bail has already been decided by the court when the judge dismissed the
application which is at the court of appeal and that the lower court has no
jurisdiction to decide on a case before the appellate court. He said the
defense can not come to accuse the prosecution of delaying trial when it was
he who has been frustrating the trial.

Here is the URL of the piece for as long as it is good:

Vanguard and ThisDay also covered the story, here are
the respective URL's for as long as they are good:

12 JAN 2005
From the Miami Herald:

Miami, Florida: Nigerian scam suckers professor; $1.68 million in money

By Nick Farrell

Miami law professor, with three doctorates, who is in the centre of a money
laundering court case, claims he is a victim of the Nigerian scam.

University of Miami law professor Enrique Fernandez-Barros has told the
Miami Herald that he thought he had been emailed by the the Nigerian
government for help reviewing some infrastructure contracts.

A "Nigerian official" promised in late 2003 to pay him for legal services if he
would help the government and a Nigerian businessman recoup $1.68 million
from a US truck-leasing company.

Fernandez-Barros would get $200,000 in fees for this and other work. He
apparently didn't seem to notice any problems with the English in the email, or
anything else that suggested it was a Nigerian scam other than the fact it came
from Nigera. Still that is a high powered education for you.

Later Fernandez-Barros received an altered cheque from Penske Truck
Leasing which he deposited it in his credit-union account and later had the
money wired to Nigeria.

Now Penske say that the money was taken illegally and they want it back.
Fernandez-Barros, 73 says he never got any cash out of the Nigerians.

Penske is going after its own bank, Fleet National, which approved the
professor's transaction, and the University Credit Union, an independent
provider of banking services for UM employees and students.

Fernandez-Barros has not been charged or sued.

11 JAN 2005
This is from South Africa's news24.com which is an
online and cable news service. It was posted up on
31 DEC 2004, but we were just made aware of it:

SA cops, Interpol probe murder

Philip de Bruin

Interpol and the police forces of South Africa, America and Greece have joined
forces to investigate the brutal murder of a wealthy Greek national whose badly
mutilated body was found in Durban shortly before Christmas.

George Makronalli, 29, was a victim of a notorious 419 fraud scheme.

He was apparently lured to the country under the pretence that he could earn
hundreds of thousands of rands. He was then kidnapped and summarily killed
when his family refused to pay the ransom.

A spokesperson for the Durban police confirmed on Thursday that Makronalli
was a victim of a 419 syndicate.

Caught in a trap

The syndicate issued a statement on the internet in which they claimed that
they had stolen about R150m from the South African government by submitting
false claims for "contracts" and that they needed help from overseas to get the
money out of the country.

Whoever was willing to help them, would receive a large part of the "profit".
Makronalli was caught with this ruse. He reacted to the "invitation" and was
convinced to come to South Africa in November.

He returned to Greece, but re-entered South Africa through Johannesburg
International Airport at the request of syndicate members on December 18. He
then disappeared.

When his brother, Sotirus Makronelli, from Los Angeles, could not establish
contact with him for two days, he contacted Interpol and the American police.
The police spokesperson said Sotirus allegedly also invested money in the
419 scheme.

Shortly after, Sotirus received an e-mail from the syndicate in which they
informed him that they had kidnapped his brother and demanded that $160 000
(about R1m) be deposited in an American bank account within 24 hours. They
threatened to kill George if their demands were not met.

The ransom was not paid. A day later, police found George's body in Durban.
Both his legs and arms were broken and he had been set alight - probably
while he was still alive.

"This was a blatant execution after a failed demand. Mr Makronalli's suitcases
full of clothes and travel documents were found with his body. Robbery was not
the motive," the police spokesperson said.

Nobody has been arrested, but the police's unit against serious violent crime in
Durban and the 419 task team from Johannesburg are investigating the murder
with the assistance of Interpol and the American and Greek police services.

Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good:

419 Coalition Note: In the mid 1990's an American businessman,
who happened to be an African American from Chicago, went to
Nigeria and realized he was being 419ed, and refused to pay
any advance fees. The 419ers held him for ransom, and sent
home pieces of him to show they were serious. The family sent
the 419ers $1 million in ransom. But the man was found dead in
front of one of the best hotels in Lagos. As in this case above,
he had been set alight (basically they threw him out of a car and
lit him up). It was not determined whether of not he was alive
when they put him out of the car. 419 Coalition mentions this
to point out the similarity in modus operandi with the case
above. No-one was even caught or charged in the case.

10 JAN 2005
From ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

$242m Scam: EFCC Can't Enforce Forfeiture Order: Counsels

By Ndubuisi Ugah

Counsels to Chief Emmanuel Nwude, one of the accused persons, in the $242 million Advance
Fee Fraud (aka 419) scam have condemned the moves by Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) to forcibly take over Nwude's properties and businesses.

In a statement by Nwude's Personal Assistant, Mr. John Nwachukwu, EFCC has gone ahead to
appoint a firm of legal/property consultants to "manage" some of Nwude's prime properties.

The statement claimed that the move by EFCC was rather "hasty and an act of self-help," while
stating that the order by the Abuja High Court was still subject of an appeal by the defence

Justice A. I. Chikere of Abuja Federal High Court had on May 26, 2004 granted EFCC's prayer
for order of interim forfeiture of affected properties of accused persons standing trial in the 419

Speaking on the issue, a lawyer in the defence team said "parties to a dispute are obliged to
maintain the status quo, when an appeal is pending against an order of court to the knowledge
of all parties," adding that "if the party that was favoured by the said order should go ahead to
realise it irrespective of pending appeal, the rest (subject matter) would have been destroyed
even if the appeal succeeds at the end of the day."

The statement noted that "because EFCC got this order unfairly through ex-parte, they are
almost certain that it would not survive the test of an appeal. They appear, therefore,
determined not to allow their victim (Nwude) enjoy the fruit of the pending appeal when it

As a way to achieve its objectives, the statement explained that the defence team is examining
two main legal options of either bringing civil actions against EFCC particularly for disrupting the
operations of his companies, which are different legal entities or the initiation of criminal
proceedings via contempt citation, which it feared may have to wait until the appeal against the
order of interim forfeiture is due for hearing at the Abuja Court of Appeal.

Aside from this, the defence team expressed fears that cash and materials, which he (Nwude)
would require for his defence had been lost in EFCC invasion of his office on December 1, 2004.

"There is a clear evidence of lawlessness and desperate self-help on the part of EFCC. It is
clear all they wanted were these choice properties of the man and they are eager to acquire
them by hook or crook, but why don't they allow the judicial process, which they themselves
initiated to run its full course," the statement added.

10 JAN 2005
The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Monday
arraigned five persons at the Ikeja High Court in Lagos for allegedly
defrauding a United States national of N378 million ($ 2.7 million) in
a Classic 419 scheme.

Harrison Odiawa (alias Abu Belgore) who was alleged to have conspired
with Dr. Tunde Oni, Desmond Okoro, Mr. Sayor, Mr. Anderson and others
still at large, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Justice Joseph

A bail hearing has been set for 28 JAN.

419 Coalition Note: We have been following this case,
and want to compliment Deputy Director Ibrahim Lamorde and
the rest of the EFCC team on how they have handled it so far.
Odiawa and his fellow arraigned 419ers are a definite flight
risk, so we would urge that they be held without bond and that
their assets be immediately seized. We also look forward to
the apprehenson those 419ers remaining at large in this case.

6 JAN 2005
From The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper:

EFCC probes eight banks

Louis Iba and Oluyinka Akintunde, Abuja

Eight banks are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission for allegedly aiding and abetting economic and financial crimes in
the country.

A comprehensive report on the operations of the EFCC, prepared by a
committee set up on July 29, 2004, also listed a liquidated merchant bank and
an Abuja-based community bank as two of the eight errant banks.

The liquidated merchant bank is, however, contesting the revocation of its
licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria and liquidation by the Nigeria Deposit
Insurance Corporation at a Federal High Court.

The law establishing the EFCC mandates it to investigate economic and
financial crimes such as money laundering, advance fee fraud (419) and oil

The report which was exclusively obtained by our correspondents on Tuesday
in Abuja, however, did not disclose the type of crimes committed by the banks
being investigated.

On the cases of advance fee fraud, the report stated that 175 cases were
reported to the commission.

About 205 arrested suspects and 31 cases were charged to court.

The Commission also warned three other banks for non-compliance with the
rules and regulations governing money laundering and suspicious

The Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, had on June 28, 2004, revealed that
about 30 banks were being investigated for their roles in economic and
financial crimes.

Ribadu warned that the commission would henceforth close the banks used for
such crimes.

He said, "We would go after any financial institution that allows itself to be used
in facilitating advance fee fraud. We would not hesitate to close down the

"Already, we have about 30 banks that we are investigating for their roles in
financial and economic crimes. If it means closing down the banks, I swear we
would do that to sanitise the system," he had affirmed.

Ribadu also flayed the management of an old generation bank for allowing a
shareholder to own more than 10 per cent of shares of the bank.

He blamed the increasing rate of economic and financial crimes on the inability
of the country's judiciary to convict a any accused person.

"The law enforcement agencies including the judiciary encouraged the crimes
because they also benefited from the misfortune of the victims.

"This is evident because hitherto law enforcement agencies and the judiciary
often turn a blind eye to the criminal activities of these perpetrators," he added.

419 Coalition Note: Many more than 175 cases of 419 have
been reported to the EFCC. 419 Coalition alone has sent in
many hundreds, if not thousands, of 419 solicitations which
included Nigerian phone numbers to the EFCC, and each
one of those is a 419 complaint (or "case"). Under Nigerian
law even writing a 419 letter is illegal, and each letter is a
"419 case" when brought to the attention of the authorities.

4 JAN 2005
From a US magazine, Internet Retailer, as posted on
naijanet.com this date:

The Reshipping Scam: How public-private cooperation led to cyber-busts in Nigeria

More than 50 people crowded into a Lagos, Nigeria, street one day last spring, shouting in
outrage and manhandling four local cops and an American FBI agent who were arresting a
neighborhood kid they suspected of running online scams. "I thought we were going to have a
riot," recalls FBI supervisory special agent Dale Miskell. "The people started going nuts."
Neighborhood women felt especially protective of the 18-year-old boy being taken into
custody, he says.

The officers broke free of what they say was a potential mob, escorted their handcuffed suspect
into an armored Chevy Suburban nicknamed the "War Wagon" and made their retreat. "At
certain times, you don’t want to hang around," Miskell says.

17 arrests

The arrest was one of the 17 collars, all of them far from quiet or routine, that Miskell helped
make during a 30-day trip to Nigeria that spanned April and May last year. It was his third
journey to West Africa in the last two years to fight online crime. "In every arrest, these guys ran
and fought," Miskell says.

Nigeria and Ghana have earned notoriety for web crime, according to officials of the Merchant
Risk Council, a not-for-profit group that’s helping authorities track scams there and throughout
the world. Miskell was in Nigeria as part of a mission by the Internet Crime Complaint Center in
Fairmont, W.Va., an organization formed in 2000 by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime
Center, to fight international online fraud. He was acting on information provided by the Merchant
Risk Council.

Miskell reports that arrests for cyber-crimes in Nigeria are rare. Both the Merchant Risk Council
and the Internet Crime Complaint Center believe that cooperation among online merchants and
law enforcement agencies made the arrests possible and could serve as a model for the future.
Retailers can provide data that can indicate who’s committing the crimes, but have no law
enforcement capabilities. And police agencies are not sources of information but have the
means to investigate data and make arrests. "We look to this as a proven case where we can
collaborate productively between private industry and law enforcement," says Tracy Brown,
director of Internet security for American Eagle Outfitters and Merchant Risk Council cochair and
head of the council’s law enforcement committee. "We would welcome members all the way
down to local law enforcement to partner with us on getting the bad guys."


By now, online merchants have become wary of shipping merchandise to addresses in West
Africa because so many customers in the region use stolen credit card information to make
their purchases. But criminals are always on the alert for ways to circumvent fraud-prevention
measures. Many in Nigeria have come up with ingenious schemes to dupe Americans into
unwittingly cooperating with their rip-offs. Those schemes are known as "reshipping" and often
start at a singles chat web site.

In a chat room, or on a singles phone line, a scammer establishes a relationship with a potential
victim, often wooing her by sending her flowers or little gifts. Eventually, he gives her a story
about hardships in Nigeria, including the inability for some reason or another to obtain
American goods. He persuades her to agree to receive merchandise that he buys online, then
reship it to Nigeria.

Once she agrees, the criminal uses stolen credit card information to buy goods online and have
them shipped to his American girlfriend. The victim rewraps the merchandise and ships it to an
address in West Africa. And so it goes until the victim gets tired of the long-distance romance,
the criminal switches to a new victim or the victim herself gets in on the scheme and keeps the

Criminals also have refined methods of preying on small businesses, Miskell says. A con artist
in Africa might develop a relationship with a retailer who sells a relatively low-cost item,
chocolates, for example. After becoming a trusted customer, the criminal then will ask the
merchant to buy a high-value item, say computers, to reship to him in Africa.

If the small retailer protests that computers aren’t what he sells, the confidence man cites their
working relationship, asks him to do it as a favor and offers to pay a small commission. The
victim agrees, charges the computers to his own card, ships them to Africa and receives a
cashier’s check from the scammer. Only later does the small business owner find out the
check’s no good.

19,000 monthly complaints

Such problems plague a large number of Americans, says Miskell. During a single recent 90-
day period, some 1,500 people in this country, either knowingly or unknowingly committing a
crime, repacked expensive goods for reshipment to West Africa, he says.

Under Nigerian law, authorities are allowed to open packages as they arrive in the country.
Miskell reports that every one of the 46 parcels he opened during a single day of his stay there
had been reshipped to launder the merchandise. He says he could only guess about the
legitimacy of the stacks of packages he didn’t have time to inspect.

Miskell had some idea which packages might be bogus, however, because of information he
was receiving daily from his colleagues back at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The
center, or IC3 as it’s called, is staffed by about 40 employees of the FBI and 20 people who
work for the National White Collar Crime Center. A U.S. Postal Service employee also works
there to coordinate information exchange with his agency, and the center hopes to persuade
the Secret Service to station a person there as well.

Because the non-profit National White Collar Crime Center is involved, the IC3 doesn’t have to
treat the information it gathers as FBI intelligence, which could limit its ability to inform
retailers of emerging trends. The center’s analysts sift complaints from consumers,
merchants, associations and law enforcement agencies, compiling facts to build cases. Some
19,000 complaints about spam, phishing and reshipping are fielded in a typical month.

Victims as far apart as Macon and Tacoma may have been robbed or swindled by the same
online criminal, but the authorities can figure that out only by processing the complaints
nationally. By combining the schemes that are related, the center can come up with cases with
high enough dollar amounts to warrant pursuing.

Tracking help

When enough information is amassed, the center works with state and local officials to take to
the field for interviews, searches and arrests. One national action the center took, Operation
WebSnare, has brought dozens of criminals to justice.

The center gets help in tracking crimes from the Merchant Risk Council, which was formed in
2000 to help make online commerce safer. The Merchant Risk Council’s 7,000 subscribers
include online merchants and vendors who sell to those retailers, says Julie Fergerson, vice
president and cofounder of ClearCommerce who serves as the Merchant Risk Council cochair.

Bringing more law enforcement agencies into the network that exchanges and analyzes
information on cyber crime is one of the Merchant Risk Council’s goals, Brown says. Miskell’s
work in Nigeria could prompt other law enforcement agencies to join the Merchant Risk Council,
Brown hopes.

Fergerson and Brown hold up the partnership of the Merchant Risk Council and IC3 as a model
for future relationships. The Merchant Risk Council prompted the IC3 to take action in West
Africa because so many problems arise there. "That’s the place we complained loudest
about," Brown says.

Miskell, who cites information from the Merchant Risk Council as vital to his work as program
manager for IC3’s effort in Nigeria, made his first trip to West Africa in February 2003. He and
three other FBI agents spent a week training officers in a class he calls Cyber 101, the same
course taught to law enforcement officers in the United States.

The investment in the trip shows the IC3’s commitment to attacking online crime at the source,
says Miskell, who estimates the cost of sending an agent there at $20,000 for airfare, food and
lodging, salary not included.

Shortly before Miskell’s group arrived, the Nigerian government had organized the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission, an elite group of police officers and lawyers. That
commission came into being because the Nigeria government could no longer ignore
allegations of police corruption, Miskell says.

After that round of training, Miskell returned alone in December 2003 to help the police form
liaisons with the local branches of international shipping companies, such as Federal Express,
DHL and United Parcel Service.

That cooperation paid off last spring when Miskell made his third visit to Nigeria—this time to help
make arrests. His group, which included several local officers, began its day by opening
packages that had arrived in the country for delivery. Often, they’d open a container from one
shipper, Fed Ex, for example, and inside find a box delivered by UPS to an address in the
United States.

Next, the group took that package, piled into the War Wagon and drove to the address. Two
plainclothes detectives hopped out of the vehicle and kept the building under surveillance while
a third officer, under cover in a shipping company uniform, made the delivery.

Fake cashier’s checks

Once the recipient received the package and paid the tax, Miskell and two uniformed officers
armed with AK-47s converged on the suspect to make the arrest. All told, the team arrested 17
and seized $1 million in fraudulently obtained merchandise and $2.5 million in bogus cashier’s
checks. Prosecutions are under way, and Miskell anticipates returning to Nigeria to testify.

That kind of work, though only a beginning in the face of growing online crime, has prompted the
Merchant Risk Council’s Fergerson to praise Miskell. "He puts his life on the line to fight e-
commerce fraud," she says. In fact, the Merchant Risk Council’s 15-member board of directors,
which includes online merchants and vendors, picked Miskell as the first recipient of The
Merchant Risk Council Law Enforcement Award. The FBI has recognized Miskell’s
accomplishments, promoting him to head of a cyber crimes team based in Birmingham, Ala.

Miskell credits the Merchant Risk Council and IC3 with bringing together the information to make
the arrests possible. Combining reports from multiple sources has allowed the groups to "learn
and grow together," Miskell says.

3 JAN 2005
From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper:

Three Nigerians held for possessing fake dollars

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency, Crime Circle Rawalpindi, has arrested three
Nigerians in Rawalpindi on charges of carrying fake US dollar packets.

The suspects who were named as Solomon, William Ali and Ike Liveri Okeke, were held along
with a Zimbabwean national, Ebrahim Mustafa from Islamabad.The suspects were alleged to
be carrying the black paper packets sized equal to US dollars with the plastic cover showing
that the same were issued by the Bank of America.

The security agency said it was alleged that the black paper packets could be converted into
dollars with the use of special chemical to be provided by the American Embassy.

The suspects were also said to have failed to get themselves registered with foreign
registration branch as required under the law of the land, while one of the accused was illegally
staying in Pakistan.

Nine persons from Nigeria, South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe were arrested during the month
of December on charges of cyber crime offences, cheating, possessing black dollar size
papers as forged currency and for illegally staying in Pakistan.

1 JAN 2005
Here is a reprint of an item posted in our 12 DEC 2000
news. Central Bank of Nigeria, amidst much fanfare,
announced 17 SEP 2002 at a huge public function in New
York that they had recovered the Ghasemi's 419ed
monies. However, the Ghasemis have yet to receive
their recovered monies from the Central Bank of Nigeria
as of this date, though the US State Department has written
that the funds can be repatriated by CBN at any time:

Anatomy of a case - this is a mix of Will Scam 419 and
Black Currency 419. The victims in this case are seeking
contacts with other victims. We received it 28 NOV 2000
and sent it onwards immediately to appropriate government
agencies but have been holding it from public release until
now to give time for investigators to work. A slightly edited
version ( for security and investigative purposes ) of their
case report is below in their own words:

From: Kennedy Walk- In Clinic
3308 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa FL, 33609
Phone Number- (813) 874-2400

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, my name is Shahla Ghasemi and my husband is Dr. Ali-Reza
Ghasemi, we are American citizens who live in Tampa, Florida. Our telephone
number for your convenience is (813) 874-2400 and (813) 832-4515, our address
is above. This is what had happened to us and how we got involved in the
Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. About 3 months ago, we got a phone call from
Nigeria by a man named Dr. Ali Abubabker -I don't believe that is his real
name--his phone number is 234-1-774-1703. He introduced himself to us as the
director of NNPC. He said that he had a confidential message for my husband,
but if we were to expose this message he could lose his job and his life. He
told us that he would receive a very big commission from this. The story that
he told us was that one foreign contractor from our country who died
transferred $27,400,000.00 to Dr. Ali Reza Ghasemi. We were very shocked.
After that, he faxed all the documents and attached all the needed documents.
We looked over everything and they all seemed real, all bore the government's
official seals and stamps. Then he faxed us a copy of our bank information,
which we filled out and faxed back to him. On August 14,2000 we received a
letter from the bank which stated that we needed to hire a power of attorney.
His name is F.A. Williams and his telephone is 234-1-774-0939. We contacted
Mr. Williams and he asked us to send him $7,250.00 for the court registration
fee through Western Union. We sent the money with a fee, which came out to be
$7,565.00. Attached is a copy of the receipt that we sent through Western
Union to Mr. Williams. After they had received the payment, Mr. Williams said
that everything was ready. Mr. Williams was at the bank and called us and
asked us for a copy of SEPA. We had no idea what that was, so we called Dr.
Abubaker who said that he didn't have the form and thought that maybe the
original contractor hadn't paid for it. They then asked us for $27,400.00 but
with a fee we paid nearly $30,000.00 through Western Union. After two days,
Mr. Williams had called and congratulated us. He said that our money had been
transferred and he faxed me a copy of the transaction, which stated that our
money had left the bank and was on its way into our account. In that same
week, Dr. Abubaker had faxed me his confirmation ticket saying that he was on
his way into America, and that we should send him money to buy his ticket.
The following day Mr. Williams called and said that our money had been
stopped because of a shorting tax that needed to be paid which hadn't been
paid. He faxed me an invoice for $63,250.00 bill for the tax. We transferred
this money through our bank to Prism Company at Nigeria. Two days later he
called and said that everything was fine. He said that we should be hearing
from our bank representative very soon. Two days later we received a call
from Carlos White from Atlanta, Georgia in America. He introduced himself as
a NCB Bank Representative with the phone number of 404-944-1842. He said that
our money was ready and that we needed to fly to Atlanta to transfer the
account into our account. We asked why and he said because the money was big
and he needed to transfer the money in front us. He told us to bring a copy
of our driver license,a copy of the contract, and $11,500 in cash. The same
evening my husband, daughter, and myself flew to Atlanta. We got a hotel
room. Then next day we called Mr. White to make an appointment with him at
our bank, First Union. He said that he had to send a bank representative to
our hotel room. When we got back, he sent two men by the names of Mustafa
Sharief and Agu Jbreh. They received all the documents and $11,500 in cash
and then they told us to wait for two hours at which time our money would be
transferred into our account. We waited for a few hours and kept calling them
and they had said that no transaction had occurred. So we decided to head
back to Tampa, while we were in line checking our bags and reserving our
tickets, we were contacted by Mr. White by our cell phone. We told him that
we were leaving and ready to go back to Tampa, He got very mad and said that
we couldn't go back because the transaction hadn't been closed yet and that
he still needed to talk to us. We went back to our hotel and we had to
reserve another room. We called Mr. White and he said that he would be
sending two people. After two hours, two people arrived by the names of
Mustafa Sharife and the other didn't give his name, but I do remember his
face. They came and told us that the government of Nigeria had approved our
payment to be physical cash. We asked them what that meant and they said that
it was real physical cash. Then they asked us to go to their car to see the
cash and get the cash or to wait and transfer the money into our bank
account. They said that the money couldn't get into our account until it had
been cleaned. We asked them what they meant and they went to the car and came
back with 5 pieces of black paper. Then they went into the bathroom sink and
with some chemicals cleaned the black paper and it turned out to be $100.00
bills. We told them that it was fine. They could clean the money and deposit
it into our account. Then Mr. Sharrif called Carols White and he said that we
had to pay for the chemicals, we asked how much they need and he said it was
$185,000. We told him if he could take the 185,000 from the money but he said
that he could not touch the original money. Then we decided to go back to
Tampa. From that night we decided to contact the Nigerian government and our
attorney Mr. Williams. I called Dr. Abubaker and I called Mr. Williams, they
acted normal and they didn't know what Mr. White had told me and then Mr.
Williams told me that he had to go and speak with the president of Nigeria in
Abuja and get his advice. Two days later, he called me and said that we had
no choice but to pay the money for the chemicals, but he said that we should
send him a copy of the receipt so that after the government received their
money from America and Japan in January or February they would reimburse my
money that we paid them for the chemicals. Mr. White was calling me and
asking me for money for the chemicals. Finally we wired $150,000 to them. Two
days later, Mr. White called me from Atlanta and asked for a Rolex watch for
the president of Nigeria so that he could basically smother the president and
get a better job in Nigeria in addition he wanted $350,000. The $350,000 was
for the purpose of opening an account for me for a CBN transit account. I
told him that he didn't tell us anything about this before, he told us after
he had cleaned the money. That same day I spoke to our consultant and told
him what happened to us and he said that we had been involved in a scam. He
showed us the many different stories and example on the Internet of this scam
and the many different victims that it had happened to. We found many
different numbers to call for help including the Nigerian police. Sir/Mam,
we really need your help. We lost almost $400,000 on this matter. We are just
a middle class family, my husband is a physician and I am a nurse. We
borrowed money from many different places to pay to these people. Now
we lost our credit and everything else. We beg for you to help us to arrest
these people and get our money back. Please feel free to contact us at
our phone number for any further information.

[ Paragraph edited out ]
[ Paragraph edited out ]

I called my bank and I asked them for a refund, my bank requested a
refund through the Bank of New York. I got the number for the Bank of New
York and asked them where did they send my money.

The representative said that they had sent the money to Lagos in Nigeria and
Beirut in Lebanon, I asked for the phone number of the banks but they said
that they didn't have it. They said that they had a representative at Nigeria
who works for the Bank of New York. He is at Lagos and his name is Mr. Shay
(phone number 234-1-2693327). The bank said that they sent the money to him
and he sent it to the Bank of Omega (phone number is 234-1-2620851). I called
to the Omega Bank Director, Mrs. Odunsi. I explained the situation and I
faxed a letter of complaint. She said they got the money from the Bank of New

She then said the money was sent to the Atlantic Precision LTD (phone number
is 234-1-2640120). The manager is Mr. Ikye, Eugwu. I spoke with Mr. Eugwu and
I requested for a refund, I am yet waiting for his action towards this

On November 2, 2000, I contacted with Mr. Ikye,
Eugwen (director of Atlantic Precision LDT concerning when he was going to
refund my money. He said that he couldn't refund the money because he paid
the money to Mr. Bashiru, Ibrahim (phone numbers are 234-1-775-3112,
234-1-493-3445, and 234-1-804-3445). I said "Mr. Eugwn I sent my money from
America to the Atlantic Precision LTD and it is your responsibility to
collect my money from whoever received it." He then said "I am not a
collector and don't call me anymore," after that he hung up. After that
incident I called Mr. Bashrim and I explained what Mr. Eugwn had told me from
the Atlantic Precision LTD, he said that he had received the money and would
not be refunding it. I asked who he is and did you give anything in replace
of my money, he said that it is their business; this is the way we live. I
told him that I am going to call the police at Nigeria and I am going to send
a letter to the Nigerian President. He said that he didn't care and used an
excessive amount of profanity towards the President and the police. Then he
proceeded on by saying that this is another way of income besides the oil
that is coming into the country. He said that the President and the
government knows about this. He also proceeded on by using curses and also by
threatening. Now I believe that not only are Dr. Ali Abubaker, Mr. F.A.
Williams, Mr. Carlos White (real name Ojbe, Onokaite and phone number in
America is 404-944-1842) but also Mr. Bashiru and Atlantic Precision LTD are
also included in this scam. I have also found the number for the director of
CBN from the Internet. His name is Mr. Joseph Sanusi (phone number
234-1-266-0100) to tell him about how the people are using the CBN's name
improperly. I decided to call him and one person who answered his phone
proceeded on to tell me to call him at his private number
(011-234-1-775-4327). I called him and told him my contract number and he
said that everything was fine with my contract. He also asked me to fax the
document to his attention at 44-870-134-9987. I asked him where this is and
he said it is at London. It was then where I found out that this is another
scammer. I hope that Mr. Joseph Sanusi can read this and find out who is
really working for him and answering his calls. In conclusion, I would just
like to point out that these scammers have created a horrible name for
Nigeria. The people wont trust anyone from that country and yes there are
some wonderful and innocent people out there whom our money should go to,
but not to these 419ers [ remark edited slightly ].

1 JAN 2005
This piece is from 31 DEC 2004, but we wanted to carry
it over into 2005 News as well.

EFCC Commissioner Nuhu Ribadu selected as
Man of the Year by ThisDay, a Nigerian newspaper:

Nuhu Ribadu: The Anti-Corruption Czar

By Simon Kolawole, 12.31.2004

Nuhu Ribadu is vindictive. Nuhu Ribadu is being used by President Olusegun Obasanjo to
witch-hunt the president's political opponents. Nuhu Ribadu does selective justice. Nuhu
Ribadu talks too much. Nuhu Ribadu grandstands. Nuhu Ribadu is power-drunk. Nuhu Ribadu
has bitten more than he can chew. Nuhu Ribadu this. Nuhu Ribadu that.

That is just one side of the story, the unpleasant side of the story, depending on whether you
have been pinched by the claws of the Octopus called Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), headed by Nuhu Ribadu, an Assistant Police Commissioner who is the
Executive Chairman of the Commission.

The pleasant part of the story is that Ribadu has inspired the commission to a height that could
make Major-Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon (late) envious, given their own
spirited battle against corruption and indiscipline when they sat on the seat of power in 1984-85.
Theirs was called War Against Indiscipline (WAI). Despite all their excesses, Buhari and
Idiagbon are still recognised for making efforts to sweep corruption and other forms of
indiscipline out of the nation's terrain.

The EFCC is saddled with the responsibility of fighting battles that even angels will tactically
dodge. In a country where corruption is the major employer of labour, it takes a large injection of
courage to stand out and be counted as an anti-corruption crusader. Ribadu is heavily injected
with courage, perhaps an overdose of it, and he is suicidally wearing a battle gear against 419,
bank frauds, fraud in the petroleum sector, pipeline vandalisation and money laundering
among several other children and grandchildren of corruption.

He knows that too well. A devout Muslim, he readily admits that if it is the will of Allah that he
should be consumed by this anti-corruption war, so be it. From Allah he came, and to Allah he
shall return. "Believe me, I’m not afraid of death. I’ve got so many death threats. I am not
bothered. I just checked my e-mail now and I received a threat mail from a Nigerian fraudster
based in Germany. We just blocked a 419 deal he wanted to seal. He's furious. He said he is
monitoring my movement, that he would deal with me. Of course, I just smiled. I get a lot of such
letters everyday. I'm not worried at all," he once told this writer in an informal chat.

What makes the Ribadu story pleasing to the ear is that he is not a typical police officer. In fact,
he had a rough battle with the police hierarchy when he was appointed chairman of EFCC. Their
anger stemmed from the fact that President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed a 'junior' officer to
head the commission. The position, they argued, was for a person with rank of Commissioner of
Police. But Obasanjo stuck to his gun. He had heard a lot about the integrity of this particular
police officer in a country where police officers and integrity don't mix as a matter of principle.
Obasanjo had done his own surveillance gathering and was bent on scoring a vital goal with
Ribadu’s appointment.

Many were of the opinion that the police hierarchy did not like Ribadu's appointment, not
because he was not qualified, but because of the billions of naira involved in the anti-corruption
business. It was too juicy a job to hand over to a very young man, who was just hovering around
40 years of age then.

Fighting 419 was a very lucrative business in the past. Many Inspectors-General of Police had
fed fat on the scams. There was an IGP who used to give police protection to 419 kingpins. The
story goes that one day, an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) was having a meeting
with this IGP in question when a notorious 419 kingpin came in. The IGP told the AIG to 'please
excuse us'. The AIG was so furious that as soon as he was appointed IGP, his first duty was to
get the fraudster arrested and detained throughout his tenure. Such was the decay in the police

The official support and protection given to the fraudsters did sufficient damage to the image of
Nigeria. The international community treated Nigerians with contempt, and when it came to
business matters, they would not want to touch Nigerians with a long cable. The reproach was

To make matters worse, the 419 kingpins were walking the streets as kings. They were openly
celebrating their ill-gotten wealth. They were getting chieftaincy titles and granting press
interviews. As soon as Ribadu came into office, he rounded them up. Many of them have been
languishing in jail on court orders, and they have been fighting for their fundamental human
rights since then.

Ribadu has fought wars with foreigners who evade taxes and duties despite the billions they
made from the Nigerian economy. He has engaged fuel smugglers in a war on the borderline.
He has taken on his own people like Alhaji Mohammed Bulama, the Managing Director of Bank
of the North, who must have thought that the Arewa spirit would bless him with some protection.
Those who accuse Ribadu of being used for political ends point directly to the case involving
Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau State. Many believe that it was because the president
wanted to deal with the embattled governor that the EFCC has taken over the case. However,
one point that cannot be discounted is that the Metropolitan Police of London wrote him and
detailed all the allegations of financial misdeeds against the governor. Should the EFCC fold its
arms and go to sleep after receiving such a report? Even though, EFCC does not have the
power to try a constitutionally-protected governor but by trying the governor's co-conspirators
who do not have immunity, Ribadu may be scoring an even bigger point. It will serve as a
landmark in the anti-corruption fight.

Indeed, Ribadu is a shinning example. No matter his perceived imperfections, he stands out for
daring to take up a dogged fight against corruption. Not many Nigerians can be counted as
standing tall in integrity, but his slender frame houses both integrity and courage. And since
these are very scarce qualities in Nigeria, Ribadu has clearly made a name for himself. And
that is why he has been selected as THISDAY Man of The Year which just ended.

419 Coalition Note: 419 Coalition would like to congratulate Commissioner
Ribadu on his selection as ThisDay Man of the Year. He is genuinely
doing his best to bring down the 419ers, and that takes immense skill,
courage, and perseverance. Mr. Ribadu is a true patriot and is Making
a Difference for all Nigerians, at home and abroad. We often think of Mr.
Ribadu as Nigeria's Eliot Ness. We thank the EFCC team and Mr. Ribadu
for their efforts, and we applaud ThisDay for its selection of Commissioner
Ribadu as Man of the Year.

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