A Nigerian national, identified as Shaba Abdul Razak, was arrested in Kannur, Kerala, on Saturday in connection with an email money fraud. He was nabbed at the end of a month-long probe into a 419 scam (Advance-fee fraud) or the Nigerian email scam, following a complaint from a victim. Inspector-General of Police said the arrest followed an elaborate investigation with the co-operation of police officials in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.
The police unravelled the scam after Shareef, the victim from Qatar, sent a complaint to the Kerala Home Minister about losing a large amount after he was duped. The Minister forwarded it to the cyber wing of the police.
The scam had its origin in an email that Mr. Shareef received in February 2008. The message from an ID purportedly from the Bank of Africa informed him that he had been nominated to inherit a rich fortune (15 million US Dollars) by a millionaire. After an exchange of emails, Mr. Shareef had been asked to go to the African city, Burkina Faso, to receive the fortune. When he expressed his inability to do so, he was informed that a financial attorney had been appointed to oversee the transfer of the amount. Mr. Shareef had also been asked to send €29,500 through Western Union Money Transfer as fees for the attorney.
Mr. Shareef had sent a total of €80,000 in response to periodical requests by the fraudsters for more money. Two members of the racket, including the arrested, had gone to the victim’s house with a few bundles of blackened U.S. dollars. They claimed the colour was to prevent their being caught by Customs officals and demanded more money from Mr. Shareef to purchase chemicals to clean it. Following the complaint, the police set a trap for the racketeers operating in the country. The Nigerian was nabbed in Bangalore. [hindu]