Swedish pensioner charged with 'Nigeria Letter' scam

TT/Rebecca Martin
TT/Rebecca Martin - [email protected]
Swedish pensioner charged with 'Nigeria Letter' scam

Wednesday saw the start of the trial against a 67-year-old Swedish woman who is charged with having swindled 3.4 million kronor ($517,000) from friends with the help of so called "Nigeria Letters".


According to the prosecutor, the Swedish woman claimed to have inherited money from relatives in the US and UK. But she told her friends that in order to be able to collect this inheritance she needed cash, which she promised to pay back to the loan givers with interest.

The woman also allegedly claimed to have money stashed away in a number of Nigerian bank accounts, but needed deposit money in order to make a withdrawal from these.

But neither inheritance nor money from Nigeria ever came. And according to the prosecution her friends never saw a penny of the loan money again.

So called “Nigeria letters” are also known as “advance-fee fraud” and are a known confidence trick where victims are persuaded to forward large sums of money in the hope of receiving a significantly larger sum at a later date.

The money is traditionally requested for transaction costs or to pay bribes.

Apart from scamming her friends he woman is also charged with having fooled a Christian TV channel to part with a sum of 50,000 kronor.

But according to the woman’s defence lawyer Karin Amédro the woman denies the allegations.

“She has every intention to pay back the money she owes. She has not asked to borrow these under false pretences,” Amédro said to daily Aftonbladet.

Amédro added that the woman completely denies having received money from the TV network and that she claims the prosecution has exaggerated the sums owed to her friends.

The trial was supposed to have started in May but as the date for the opening of the procedures drew near the woman went underground.

Police finally apprehended her at the end of last month, according to Aftonbladet.

The trial started on Wednesday and will go on for nine days.


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