Gang netted more than six million euros in Nigerian letters scam
Police have broken up Spain’s most active and prolific criminal network which reaped in millions through the so-called “Nigerian letters” scam.
The gang consisted of citizens of Nigerian origin settled mainly in Madrid. The leaders were in Nigeria, except for one of them who has been arrested in Malaga in this third phase.
In this last stage, ten members of the organisation have been arrested, five in Madrid, four in Malaga and one more in Murcia. In addition, there are nine other people imputed.
In total, this operation is concluded with 48 detainees and 13 investigated, as well as the completion of 13 raids.
Nearly 40 victims of 17 nationalities and four different continents have been identified, although this amount may increase due to the fact that police are still trying to identify and locate more people who have suffered this scam.
The benefit that the organisation would have obtained through this fraud amounts to more than 6,000,000 euros.
The investigation began as a result of a complaint from a German man who said that someone, posing as a US military, had requested the change to euros of a large amount of money in order to get it out of Afghanistan.
Members of the organi-sation looked for their possible victims through social networks, studied their profiles and devised indivi-dualised deceptions to attract them in search of a fortune they would get for helping a friend, for their good will or a stroke of luck .
They were often told they had won a prize in the lottery, were the beneficiary of a large inheritance or some very profitable business, among others.
When they got a response from the potential scammers, the Nigerians contacted the network members settled in Spain and passed on the victim’s data so that they could continue with the deception. They asked them to make various payments, in various concepts, such as customs fees, payment of minutes to lawyers and notaries or payment of taxes.
Victims have been identified from Japan, the United States, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, Libya, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey, Brazil and China. Mostly people of a high economic and educational level.