A network of Nigerian spammers based in the African community in south-east Amsterdam has been identified as being responsible for defrauding people worldwide of millions of euro. Spam messages inviting recipients to collect lottery winnings or help invest money belonging to widows of former African presidents have netted the fraudsters around €22 million according to experts, although the sum may be as much as ten times greater. Once the bait had been taken, the victim was invited to Amsterdam to deposit money in a fake branch of the Abn Amro bank staffed by one of the very few Dutchmen involved in the operations. The biggest group of fraud victims comes from the United States (22 per cent), with the United Kingdom coming second with six per cent.

The preliminary results of research into Nigerian criminal operations in the Netherlands were presented at a seminar in Amsterdam by the Centre of Information and Research on Organised Crime.