German Police Arrest 11 Suspected Members of Nigerian Mafia Group Behind Dating Scam | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


German police have arrested 11 suspected members of a Nigerian mafia group, the Black Axe gang, believed to be behind a large-scale dating scam.

The arrests were made following nationwide raids on Tuesday, targeting properties including homes and asylum shelters across Germany.

The Black Axe gang is involved in various forms of criminal activity internationally, with a focus in Germany on romance scams and money laundering, according to a statement by Bavarian police.

The gang operated a sophisticated “modern form of marriage fraud” where they used false identities to establish romantic relationships online and subsequently demand money from their victims under various pretexts.

“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,” the police statement said.

The money obtained through the romance scams was transferred to the Black Axe gang in Nigeria via financial agents.

Authorities revealed that the gang used a commodity-based money laundering scheme, purchasing products with a seeming “charitable purpose” and delivering them to Nigeria.

In 2023 alone, Bavarian police reported 450 cases of romance scamming, with damages amounting to 5.3 million euros ($5.7 million). The arrests mark a significant breakthrough in the fight against online fraud and romance scams plaguing the region.

The arrested individuals, all Nigerian citizens aged between 29 and 53, were found to be part of a larger criminal network with “strict hierarchical structures under leadership in Nigeria.”

The Black Axe gang reportedly has significant influence in politics and public administrations, particularly in Nigeria, where they are involved in human trafficking, fraud, money laundering, prostitution, and drug trafficking

The Black Axe gang operated under the cover of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, an ostensibly charitable organization used as “camouflage” for the gang’s criminal activities.

The police action against the Black Axe gang marks the first of its kind in Germany and signifies a decisive step in dismantling the gang’s operations in the country.

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