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Email fraud ends in chokey

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A Nigerian woman has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for her part in a massive 419 scam.

The case, heard in the Lagos High Court, has been hailed as the first big victory for Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission set up to fight just such crimes.

Amaka Anajemba helped extract $242m from Brazilian bank Banco Noroeste. The email scam claimed to be offering kick-backs on a contract to build an airport in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Much of the money was later recovered.

She must sell properties in Nigeria, the UK, the US and Switzerland to help pay back the missing money, according to the BBC.

The fraud was discovered when Banco Noroeste was bought by a Spanish bank. The bank's international boss was sentenced to a year in prison in Switzerland.

Two other defendants will appear in court in September on related charges. The EFCC has 200 ongoing cases against 419 scammers. 419 scams are named after the relevant section of the Nigerian criminal code. ®

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