According to media reports, a 39-year-old man is to appear in
court today to face 17 charges relating to fraudulent computer
usage known as the Nigerian email scam.
The scam has caused email inboxes around the world to be flooded
with spam messages promising millions of dollars in winnings or
inheritance, but insist that recipients first have to send money to
Reports claim that the New South Wales's Crime Command Assets
Confiscation Unit (ACU) have tracked down hundreds of victims of
the scam around the world. In some cases, the victims were promised
lottery winnings, but never remembered actually buying a
"In the last six months, we've probably tracked around AUS $5
million," said ACU commander Inspector Jennifer Thommeny. "This
[arrest] is really significant."
"Scams like this can not only fill up the email inboxes of
millions of users around the world, but also attempt to conduct a
sinister financial fraud," said Graham Cluley, senior technology
consultant for Sophos. "Everyone who uses email for legitimate
purposes will applaud the authorities investigating cases such as
The arrest, which follows a four-month long investigation,
followed a search performed by the ACU of a property in Nyngan, New
South Wales. The police conducted simultaneous searches at two
other locations in Sydney where they seized computers and
The man, who has been identified as Nick Marinellis, is expected
to appear in court in Dubbo, New South Wales, today.