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By | Dan Goodin 9th August 2007 18:03

Dutch police arrest six in 419 scam

Australian victim bilked of $1.5m

Six men with ties to a West African crime network have been arrested in the Netherlands over an internet scam that bilked a man of $1.5m, according to police.

Five of the suspects are from West Africa, including two Nigerians, according to an article in the Daily Telegraph. They stand accused of engaging in a 419 scheme in which they sent emails promising a $90m business contract in return for him advancing up front costs.

The alleged scam, which spanned at least four continents, started about a year ago in Japan. After parting with considerable sums of money to cover notary fees and other costs, the victim finally figured out he was getting ripped off and notified police.

Three of the suspects were arrested in an Amsterdam hotel where they planned to meet the unnamed victim, to supposedly present him with a suitcase of money. The remaining three were arrested in nearby Abcoude.

The arrests are part of a program Dutch police initiated in October to crack down on internet fraud. It has netted 74 arrests and email addresses of targeted victims, according to the Telegraph. We suspect the number of arrests is higher, considering the arrest of 111 suspected 419 scammers by Dutch police in June. ®

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