by Rund Abdelfatah
HALF a dozen people have been arrested in an online lottery scam accused of defrauding hundreds of victims of more than €1 million in the space of a year.
In 2012 alone 500 victims, mainly of Italian descent, invested money in the scam run by a Nigerian group with branches in Malaga, Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid, and even as far as Italy.
The fraudsters sent hundreds of emails to people indicating they had won a million dollars and, in order to claim their prize, the winners had to forward them €4,000 to pay for the cover charges.
The money was then collected through bank transfers or deliveries at the post office in Malaga, where the swindlers used forged passports displaying internet photos of famous actors.
After the money was received, the group stopped all contact with the victim.
The arrests follow an investigation launched at the end of 2011 to uncover the inner workings of the operation.
At the time of the arrests, some ‘tried to flee through the window after flushing a large quantity of drugs down the toilet,’ the police said, adding the network also dealt in narcotics.