AN Elche businessman was conned out of €153,000 by a 42-year-old Nigerian man posing as an African diplomat.
The fraudster lured him in with promises of an easy profit on a money swap scheme.
The Nigerian, along with a friend, contacted the Elche man in early March.
They spun a yarn that they were high-ranking diplomats from Liberia who needed help in converting a large amount of money they had smuggled into Spain.
They offered him a deal where he would make a good profit on camouflaged notes which he would buy off them.
The man was given a demonstration involving high denomination notes of €100, €200 and €500.
They were dyed black to allegedly avoid detection and chemicals were poured onto them to suddenly reveal them as legal tender.
After witnessing the transformation, the businessman supplied €153,000 to swap with the camouflaged notes, which ended up being fakes.
The embarrassed victim told police what happened and a sting operation was launched to get the fraudster.
The man arranged to meet the ‘diplomat’ close to Alicante’s train station with the intention of doing a swap involving €35,000.
Police followed the victim to the meeting place and detained the swindler.
Investigations are still continuing with further arrests not being ruled out.