Hundreds arrested in Nigerian scam clampdown

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Nigerian anti-419 squads have recovered cash and assets worth more than $700 million in the last year.

In a huge clampdown on email scams, rumoured to be one of the country's top-earning "industries", more than 500 suspects have been arrested and another 500 investigations are ongoing.

According to Nuhu Ribadu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria in an interview with Associated Press, the country is ramping up its fraud clampdown.

Ribadu's claims follow a good year for the government agency in which it saw its first court victory when Mike Amadi was convicted this May by a Lagos court for setting up a website offering bogus procurement contracts. Amadi impersonated Ribadu himself to set up the fake business. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Earlier in the year Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo challenged Ribadu to make more arrests and pledged his "undiluted support" for the Commission's work.

"In a few years of its existence [the commission has] made an indelible mark in the fight against corruption. Our goal is to continue with this fight against corruption. Our goal is to continue with this fight in the interest of our present and future," said Obasanjo.

In July SC reported over 300 people were arrested in Spain in a massive 419 manhunt. The arrests were in connection with a $362 million scam.

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