VOL. NO: 49      DATE:
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419 conmen cost Britain millions of pounds annually


Nroel Moss, alias Alan Brown, arrested in Ghana for allegedly being a 419 conman

A report on financial crime says Britain is losing hundreds of million of pounds a year through Nigerian financial scams and corruption. 

The report, compiled by the British think tank Chatham House, lists examples of crimes, including Internet scams, credit card fraud and money laundering. The report's author, Michael Peel, says Nigerian and British authorities are not taking the issue seriously enough. On a single day last year, British customs authorities found forged cheques worth 120 million in parcels from Nigeria. 

Nigeria has become especially linked with "advance fee" or "419 scams". This involves sending emails or faxes to potential victims around the world, offering a highly attractive but false financial deal. 

Commonly, the criminal says they need help in getting money out of the country, with promises to share the rewards with the victim. The offender uses information they trick from the gullible victims and commonly strips their bank account. 

These style of incidents alone cost the UK economy 150m a year - with the average victim losing 31,000, the report said. 

Greed is the principal motivation that has kept 419 scams going. The huge promises of millions of pounds should the contact cooperate to help siphon the money into Europe most often is too much for the contact to let go. Mr Peel said action needed to be taken by both countries' governments Recently the Daily Graphic newspaper in Ghana reported that a British citizen suspected of being a member of a 419 gang which operates in Accra had been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service. 

The suspect, Nroel Moss, alias Alan Brown, 52, was arrested together with an accomplice, Kasim Baba, alias Sojaru, a 30-year-old telecommunications technician resident at Dansoman. Another accomplice managed to escape. 

The police identified Moss as the man who usually posed as a businessman from either South Africa or Europe who had come to the country to either purchase gold, ore flexer or wakanka beans. 

According to Superintendent Dennis Abade of the CID Headquarters, the suspect was hired by the fraudsters and was given a share of the booty after every operation.


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