The Discovery Of The Scam
Amazingly, this criminal gang was able to convince the director of the Brazilian bank to part with the money. Of course, it was not without work, and false documentation as well. Eventually, Sakaguchi found out he was a victim of one of the largest scam in the world! In 1997, the Spanish Bank “Banco Santander” wanted to acquire the Brazilian Bank “Banco Noroeste” and a joint board meeting was held in December of that year. Officials of the Spanish bank noted that half of the Brazilian bank’s capital was in Cayman Islands accounts uncontrolled and unmonitored. This raised significant control and accounting questions as this was two-fifths of Noroeste’s total assets.
An investigation began and was carried out in Brazil, Britain, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the United States to review the real assets of the Brazilian Bank. Although the sale of the Bank still proceeded as the owners of the Spanish bank paid $242 million for the deal, the world economies were collapsing in 2001 (partly from the Dot Com bust and other balloons).
This Formed The Birth Of The Nigerian EFCC In 2002
The then president, Olusegun Obasanjo saw to the establishment of an anti-graft agency as being essential to governance in Nigeria, and so created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nwude’s fraud case one of the first to be investigated by the EFCC in 2004, and all of the members of the gang were arraigned before an Abuja High Court on 86 counts of “fraudulently seeking advance fees” and 15 counts of bribery related to the case.
Although the defendants pleaded not guilty, they were warned not to attempt to bribe court officials as it was suspected that money was going around. Good luck with that!
In 2005, Amaka confessed to helping Anajemba and was asked to repay $25.5 million and also sentenced to two and a half years in a Nigerian prison.
Nwude attempted to bribe Nuhu Ribadu, the then chairman of the EFCC, with $75,000 in cash, but Ribadu refused and Nwude was charged with attempted bribery as well as attempting to kidnap a key prosecution witness.
Following Sakaguchi’s testimony, Nwude finally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five concurrent sentences of five years and was also asked to pay a $10 million fine to the federal government.
In Typical Nigerian Fashion, The Government Of Nigeria Was The One That Gained The Most.
This is both the lesson and a cautionary tale about Nigerian scams. Even if they get arrested, the government confiscates the money and the victims rarely get anything back. The Nigerian government, by its actions, serve to perpetuate the scam industry by always keeping the money in the country.
Today, the EFCC regularly, and increasingly arrests scammers and Yahoo Boys – but when you peel back the layers you see that these are the independents and the rebel scammers that will not work for the larger cartel organizations. Even with arrests every day in Nigeria today, compared to the 100,000 working scammers, it is a drop in the bucket!
The only solution is to shut this down on a global basis that results in sanctions against the country of Nigeria (and all Western African Countries).
portions reprinted from naij.com