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By NBF News

The Postmaster- General of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Baba, on Thursday revealed that no fewer than 1,708 scam, letters containing various fake foreign cheques and other negotiable financial instruments worth $17,279, 047.01, have been intercepted by officials of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) between October 2009 and March this year.

Baba, who made the revelation while speaking at the 5th Bulkpost Annual Customers' Forum in Lagos, said the foreign scam letters were intended to defraud unsuspecting foreign investors and in the process put the country's image to disrepute.

According to him, the interception was made possible through collaborative efforts of agencies such as the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) of Britain, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS),adding that members of staff found to have collaborated with the criminals had at all times been handed over to the law enforcement agencies to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said involvement of the EFCC in NIPOST's activities underscores the seriousness the organisation attaches to delivering high quality service as well as the pain it suffers each time a customer is defrauded in connivance with members of staff. He explained that the theme, 'The Nigerian Capital Market Mail: The Crime, The Criminal And The Law,' clearly underscores the seriousness that management attaches to the capital market.

'Mail items being generated from this market are in large volume and as such we feel embarrassed whenever we receive complaints of pilfering, non delivery and destruction of these items,' he said. Earlier in his Speech, Head, Advance Fee Fraud of the EFCC, Mr. Adegbite Olaolu, hinted that the criminals sent the financial instruments in bulk to Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to defraud their victims.

He said the criminal antics had become very worrisome' adding that those involved now personally take the mails outside the borders where they post them to avoid detection. He said the criminals were so dynamic that they now scan through obituaries published in newspapers, match them with names of individuals with unclaimed dividends, forge relevant documents and claim their entitlements.

Also speaking, Assistant Inspector, General of Police (AIG), Zone II, Mr. Azubuko Udah, relieved an experience of how 43,000 units of his Union Bank shares were sold by his stoke broker without his consent when he was Commissioner of Police, INTERPOL.