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419ers no longer safe on their home turf

Arrest in Lagos

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Dutch police have arrested a 30-year-old man in Lagos, Nigeria, thought to be the mastermind behind a European advance-fee (419) scam.

Dutch police arrested suspected gang members earlier this year in the Netherlands. The gang operated from Amsterdam and Zaandam and targeted mainly Americans.

In February, Dutch police arrested 12 people and confiscated €25,000 in cash, computers, and fake travel documents. US investigators then requested the extradition of four of the alleged scammers. Those four are currently fighting extradition to the United States, which can take a year or longer.

"We will pursue these people wherever they are," spokesman René van der Wouw for the Dutch police told the daily Telegraaf this weekend. "Scammers who think they are safe on their home turf have to think twice."

The arrested man is still being held in Festac, an area in Lagos where at least 250,000 419 scammers are believed to operate from.

Recently, Nigeria passed a strict law on 419 activity, which allows for cyber cafe owners and even the landlords to be arrested if 419 activities are occuring on their premises.®

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