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Lads cuffed, 500 : Convictions, 0

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Roughly 200 Nigerians are currently serving jail terms for advance fee or 419 fraud around the world, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, chairman of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), told a seminar in Abuja this week. But in Nigeria itself not a single person has been sentenced yet.

About 500 suspected fraudsters are currently detained by the commission in various detention centres across Nigeria, but they still await trial, according to afternoon daily P.M. News.

Malam Nuhu Ribadu says Nigeria is the only country in the world that has failed to apply special laws or establish dedicated "front offices" to combat the crimes. "The commission believes that some of the 419 cases are facilitated by highly-placed, corrupt government officials," he added. On the positive site, though, the EFCC managed to recover properties worth over $500m from the Lads from Lagos.

Sixty per cent of 419 scam letters still originate from Nigeria, Malam Nuhu Ribadu told the seminar. In the near future these letters may end up in a new national data base for 'referral purposes'. Although that probably won’t stop our lads from bombarding you with requests to spirit away $33,000,000 in illicit oil money. ®

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