The 35-year-old suspect in Paphos’ Spanish prisoner scam has been identified as a Nigerian national, who was arrested Thursday along with his 25-year-old girlfriend for swindling €117,000 out of a retired teacher.
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The case is centered around a 63-year-old female victim who was duped by a man she met online into wiring a total of €117,000 out of her bank account. Reports said the suspect was promising marriage and told the woman he was a medical doctor with the UN serving in Syria.
But the suspect turned out to be a Nigerian national living in Paphos with his 25-year-old Greek Cypriot girlfriend and their 18-month-old child. He reportedly admitted to police that he received money but said he took it on behalf of another man, who is also wanted by police.
The older suspect says he believed the foreign man was the son of a minister in Nigeria who needed help getting money out of the country
Earlier in the case, a 60-year-old Greek Cypriot man who is already in custody on fraud charges told investigators someone else deposited money into his account with the understanding he would hand it back when needed.
The older suspect said he believed the foreign man was the son of a minister in Nigeria who needed help getting money out of the country and into a local bank account in exchange of receiving a generous fee.
It was not immediately clear whether police believe the 60-year-old man was also duped by the scammer. Knews understands both men remain in custody while the Nigerian man’s girlfriend reportedly made bail and could be off the hook. She told investigators she was under the impression that the father of her child was receiving money from his father back home.
Despite law enforcement alerting the public to “Nigeria Prince” scams, groups of fraudsters continue to make millions around the world using classic Spanish prisoner scams on unsuspecting victims.