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Wednesday, November 11, 1998 Published at 06:03 GMT


World: Africa

U.S. crack-down on Nigerian mail fraud


Postal inspectors in the United States say that so far this year they have seized and destroyed two-million letters from Nigeria at Kennedy Airport in New York, in an operation against an international mail fraud scheme.

The inspectors say that American consumers are being defrauded out of one-hundred-million dollars a year by Nigerian fraudsters who send what are known asadvance-fee letters offering a business opportunity to earn millions of dollars.

The letters -- purportedly from Nigerian government officials -- offer a twenty-five percent commission to the recipient for helping to transfer up to thirty-eight million dollars from Nigeria to the United States.

The American officials said the postal authorities in Nigeria and Ghana were co-operating to break what they described as one of the longest-running fraud schemes.

Last week, the Nigerian government placed large advertisements in the British press warning about the fraud.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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