Nigerian Scam Arrests in 2005
Fake Cayman Island Bank Deposits Lure Nigerian Scam Victims
02/05 - Two people are now in United States custody after a joint year-long investigation by officers of the Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, (RCIPS) and the United States Secret Service in Los Angeles, California, regarding Internet fraud.
This comes after a warrant was executed during the early hours of Friday 14 January 2005, on a resident in a suburb of Los Angeles, California by US Secret Service agents.
According to Detective Constable Dean Smith, "For some time the Cayman Islands Authorities have been aware of numerous fictional entities that exist on the Internet, offering Financial Services.
These entities actually claim to exist in the Cayman Islands and on occasions even provide both postal and physical addresses as well as telephone numbers.
"It has been established that these entities do not physically exist in the Cayman Islands and are not licensed or registered to operate as such."
DC Smith added that a positive commitment was taken by the Financial Crime Unit of the RCIPS to attempt to address the harm caused to the reputation of the Cayman Islands from these criminals.
He noted, "From various sites identified, numerous enquiries were conducted in an attempt to locate and prosecute those involved in this "new breed" of crime."
According to FIU officials, from investigation and intelligence reviews it was apparent that some of the websites were constructed to facilitate the "Nigerian 419" or "Advanced Fee Fraud" scams.
In the case of the Cayman Islands a Nigerian National purporting to have a large amount of money that he needed to transfer out of his country, sent e-mails to random addresses to residents here.
This amount varies considerably but is normally in excess of US$25 million dollars. For "your" assistance you can receive anywhere between 5 – 15% of that amount.
In order to make a more convincing pledge the victim will contact or be contacted by a "Bank" in the Cayman Islands. They, on behalf of the victim will open a personal account in their name and supply an account number and password.
The victim will then be invited to "go on-line" and log into a particular Internet site, input their details and obtain access to their account.
There they would find $25million sitting in their account, but before any transfers or debits can be made, a "refundable activation fee" would be required.
This amount can be anywhere between $1,000 to $15,000 and will usually be "wired" through numerous accounts before reaching the criminal.
Those that comply lose their money and then are required to overcome numerous obstacles for the release of their millions which not surprisingly never happens.
In this occasion, wire transfers were traced and accounts identified which in turn, identified more victims. The FIU official spoke of painstaking intelligence gathering and analysis of information, to build a case against the suspect.
The RCIPS worked very closely with the United States Secret Service and shared information, pushing the investigation forward to the point of the execution of the search warrant.
At the target premises there were 12 computers hooked into the Internet and a substantial amount of other information collected.
The investigation continues as information taken at the time will continue to be examined.