Feeds

Dutch police arrest 52 email scammers

Links to Caribbean drug smuggling

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Dutch police have arrested 52 Nigerian email scammers at 23 locations in Amsterdam in what is believed to be the biggest raid of its kind. Several PCs, mobile phones, false documents and € 50,000 in cash were confiscated. Dutch police believes the criminals sent 100,000 messages to victims in Japan and the USA. More arrests may follow.

The raid is remarkable not just for its size. For the first time Dutch police confirmed close ties between Nigerian email scammers and drug smugglers from the Dutch Antilles.

Drugs traffickers from Latin America have been using the Caribbean island group as a transit point from Colombia. Up to 25,000 drugs smugglers are believed to take this transatlantic route every year. They are known as bolletjesslikkers (capsule swallowers) as they swallow tiny drug capsules to hide the drugs from customs at Amsterdam Airport.

Many drugs and legal experts have urged police to focus on drug lords rather than arrest the petty criminals who smuggle the drugs. Those drug lords may well be Nigerians and Colombians, Dutch police now say. Money taken from victims in e mail scams is used to finance narcotics smuggling, the Unusual Transactions Reporting Centre of the Netherlands believes. In 2001 alone more than 900 Nigerians applied for a Dutch visa from the Antilles.

Wednesday’s crackdown dealt a heavy blow to advance fee fraud in the Netherlands. Last year a Dutch court sentenced five African email swindlers to between 300 days and 4.5 years, after a Swiss lecturer forked over 482,000 dollars on the promise of a $9 million return. The 52 people arrested Wednesday could face similar sentences.

Now that Amsterdam is no longer a safe haven for Nigerian scammers, experts believe they may pack up their bags and head out elsewhere. The Reg already noticed some changes in the daily floods of congratulatory letters enticing consumers to buy chances in high-stakes lotteries. Until recently, most of these letters originated from Amsterdam. These days most letters are sent through Telefonica from Madrid, Spain. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.