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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2005, 06:41 GMT
Nigerian bank fraudsters guilty
A handful of dollars
Following an investigation most of the funds have been recovered
A court in Nigeria has delivered two more guilty verdicts in the country's biggest ever international fraud trial.

Two defendants, Frank Nwude and Nzeribe Okoli, were found guilty of swindling a Brazilian bank out of $242m.

The pair deceived an employee at the Banco Noroeste of Sao Paulo into transferring large sums of the bank's money to accounts around the world.

In return the man had been promised kickbacks from a fictional Nigerian state contract.

Correspondents say Nigeria is notorious for fraudulent schemes which target greedy or gullible people in an attempt to persuade them to hand over money on the promise of large future returns.

Kickback offer

A third defendant in the case, Amaka Anajemba, was convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a separate trial in July.

She was convicted of convincing a senior official at Banco Noroeste, based in Sao Paulo, to siphon off the hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for a promised $13m kickback on a fictitious contract for an airport in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The prosecution case was built up after an international investigation involving the authorities of more than a dozen countries.

The fraud was discovered in 1998 when Banco Noroeste was bought by a Spanish bank.

The Brazilian bank official, the company's head of international operations, was arrested three years ago during a trip to the US and extradited to Switzerland, where he was jailed for more than a year.

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