German Police arrest 11 Nigerian Black Axe members for dating scam | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

The arrests were made during a nationwide coordinated operation on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, when law enforcement officers swooped on 19 properties, including both homes and asylum shelters, the Bavaria police said in a statement.

The suspects all held Nigerian citizenship and were aged between 29 and 53.

The dating trick deployed by the group was described as a modern form of marriage fraud.

Using false identities, the fraudsters for example signalled their intention to marry and in the course of further contact repeatedly demand money under various pretexts,” police explained.

Subsequently, the money obtained was wired to Black Axe in Nigeria with financial agents acting as conduits.

In the process, the gang used a “commodity-based money laundering” scheme where products, often with a seeming “charitable purpose” were bought and delivered to Nigeria, reported AP.

No fewer than 450 cases of romance scamming were reported in the Bavaria region in 2023 alone, with the damages rising to 5.3 million euros ($5.7 million), police added.

The German police described the Black Axe gang as a group operating different territorial units, with strict hierarchical structures under leadership in Nigeria.

It’s believed the group had a significant influence on politics and public administrations, in particular in the West African country.

Globally, the gang’s main areas of operation were said to include human trafficking, fraud, money laundering, prostitution and drug trafficking.

Black Axe operated under the cover of the Neo-Black Movement of Africa, an ostensibly charitable organisation used as “camouflage” for the gang’s structures.

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