UAE resident conned in Nigerian email scam

Woman sentenced to one year in jail for selling counterfeit money obtained from scammers

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 23, 2008

An East European woman who has been living in Abu Dhabi for the last ten years and running a dental clinic has fallen victim to the Nigerian email scam.

The world-famous Nigerian scam, also known as the Advance Fee Fraud or 419 Fraud, generally involves a wealthy foreigner who needs help moving millions of dollars from his homeland and promises a hefty percentage of his fortune for assisting him.

Similarly, the unidentified woman in Abu Dhabi received an email from a Nigerian man who claimed he had inherited $5 million and needed to store it in her account until details were sorted out, Gulf News reported. In return, she would be rewarded for her gesture.

After corresponding through several emails, the woman agreed to meet up with two Nigerian men in April who carried a briefcase filled with $50,000 worth of counterfeit notes.

Before the money was handed over, she was asked to pay an AED 10,000 transaction fee, which she brought down to AED 6,000. After paying the amount and taking the briefcase, she headed to a currency exchange the next day. The notes, which were shoddily cut and had the same serial number, were immediately found to be counterfeit and the woman was arrested.

After spending the last five months in prison, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi yesterday found the woman guilty of attempting to exchange $50,000 in counterfeit cash and sentenced her to one year in prison. The time already served will be adjusted so her sentence will be completed in seven months, after which she will be deported.

The emails she exchanged with the Nigerians and phone numbers could not be traced to anyone.

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