Feeds

Dutch police arrest 52 email scammers

Links to Caribbean drug smuggling

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.