Dutch court convicts Nigerian Internet fraudsters

AMSTERDAM Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:22pm EDT

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Monday sentenced three members of a Nigerian gang to up to four years in prison for extorting tens of thousands of euros from victims who answered emails promising a stake in unclaimed inheritances.

A spokeswoman for the Haarlem court said judges sentenced one man to four years on charges of fraud, money-laundering and membership of a criminal organization, while two others were sentenced to 18 months and 13 months respectively.

Further sentences were pending, the spokeswoman added.

During investigations police found fake dollar bills, tens of thousands of euros and the documents and financial details of victims from several countries in an Amsterdam flat, according to Dutch news agency ANP.

Fraud victims had paid sums to the gang believing this would allow them to claim larger sums from inheritances.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Andrew Roche)

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