India arrests Nigerians in spam scam case

Jan. 3, 2012 at 10:44 PM
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MUMBAI, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- India says it has arrested six Nigerian nationals suspecting of committing text message and e-mail scams that defrauded hundreds of people.

Authorities said the men were taken into custody while police seized 14 laptops, seven memory sticks and 23 mobile phones along with fake documents and cash, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Scam victims were duped after being told they had won a lottery, authorities said.

The arrests came after security firm Kaspersky Labs reported more spam originated from India than any other country in the world, and analysts said poor enforcement of laws meant spammers could operate almost at will.

"We have an Information Technology Act that was introduced in 2000. But we don't have any convictions under it and it's silent on spam," Mumbai-based Internet security specialist Vijay Mukhi said.

"If I'm a spammer, I would rather spam from India to India and the rest of world because nothing will happen to me."

The Internet and Mobile Association of India estimates the country has more than 112 million Internet users, the third-largest in the world after the United States and China, and is adding 7 million new users each month.

Security experts say the arrests were a strong sign the Indian government means to get a grip on scammers.

"One of the good things is that they are taking it as a serious issue," David Emm, a security researcher from Kaspersky Labs, said.

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