419 Scammer Convicted

A Nigerian national will be sentenced for fraud and money laundering next week after extracting over US $250,000 from a Saudi Arabian man in a “419” scam, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday.

Peter Maxson Anyanyueze was convicted in the Johannesburg Regional Court on Friday, said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga. He was also found guilty of contravening the Immigration Act for being married to a South African woman he was not in a relationship with, for citizenship. According to evidence presented during the trial, he snared Dr Abdulazziz Alheiraqi Nwasser, a Saudi Arabian citizen, with the customary email associated with such scams, stating that he had US $10.5-million which he had realised from sales of gold dust and other precious metals.

He said the money was lodged in a security company in South Africa and that he needed someone to move it and invest it abroad for him and his family, preferably in Europe. Instead of transferring the amount to the complainant, he demanded that small payments be made into nominated bank accounts worldwide to cover capital flight tax and currency fluctuating margins, amongst others. Nwasser paid US $295 364 to various bank accounts furnished to him by the accused, but the accused never deposited the US $10.5 million intended for an overseas investment.

Named after Section 419 of a Nigerian law that deals with advanced fee fraud, the scam deceives a victim into making advance payments to bank accounts before a transaction is concluded, through unsolicited communication. They are usually offered a generous payment for being the go-between.

The woman he was supposedly married to was living with her South African boyfriend, which whom she had a child. Mhaga attributed the arrest and conviction of Anyanyueze to the “excellent work done by the South African Police Service and prosecutors in this two-year long trial”.

This article was published on Independent Online on the 5th of October 2010.

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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