on that related note..
it is useful:
Nigerian scam: Italian sues firm for $1.8m
Sum was deposited into S'pore firm's account and accepted as payment for goods shipped to Nigerians
By K.C. Vijayan, Crime Correspondent
A RETIRED Italian banker who was an apparent victim of a Nigerian scam is suing a Singapore wholesaler for the return of US$1.125 million (S$1.8 million).
The fraudsters were said to have conned him into depositing the money into the company's account.
But Shankar's Emporium claims the money it received was for goods issued to Nigeria-based customers who commonly settled bills through such third-party remittances.
Shankar's, based in High Street Plaza, is one of the largest wholesale exporters of consumer electronics, home appliances and office equipment in Singapore and has been in business for 50 years.
The scam that brought Swiss-based Mr Vincenzo Comboni to the Singapore High Court witness box yesterday started in July 2003.
He had responded to an unsolicited e-mail message from someone named Frank Nsugbe, who claimed he had about US$20 million deposited in South Africa and needed someone to help invest the cash.
Mr Comboni flew to Johannesburg in January 2004 and sealed a deal with Nsugbe to manage the US$20 million in return for a fee. He subsequently received a deed indicating that the US$20 million had been deposited with a security firm in South Africa.
In April 2004, Mr Comboni received a phone call from a man purporting to be from a Canadian firm, saying Mr Comboni needed to put up an insurance bond before the US$20 million could be released.
The Italian followed instructions and made three deposits totalling US$1.125 million into a DBS bank account operated by Shankar's Emporium in the same month.
However, the US$20 million was never released to Mr Comboni and the fraudsters disappeared.
Shankar's maintains it had accepted the cash as payment that was due for goods it had supplied to Nigerian customers, on the instruction of Liko & Co, a firm it has been dealing with since 1999.
According to documents filed by Shankar's lawyers from Allen & Gledhill, the Nigerian currency was not fully convertible, and so the firm accepted payments from third parties in US dollars through overseas agents for goods shipped to Nigerians.
But Mr Comboni's lawyers Hapreet Singh Nehal and Vijai Parwani claim that Shankar's was fully aware that the system of third party remittances it received on behalf of Nigerian customers 'was riddled with fraud'.
They claim Shankar's was already assisting investigations by Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department in 2003 and the company was also linked to other probes by the Swiss, British and United States authorities into such third party remittances .
The remittances were purportedly on behalf of their Nigerian customers, and Mr Comboni's lawyers claimed Shankar's was 'aware of the extent of fraud and shut its eyes to the obvious'.
They pointed out to the court that in June 2004, the US government had obtained a court order and froze the funds in Shankar's bank account in the US after fraud was detected in connection with third party remittances.
But Shankar's countered that in June last year, the CAD found its procedures 'for receiving funds from third parties to be appropriate' and the firm added it was not aware of any wrongdoing on its part.
The hearing before Justice Kan Ting Chiu continues today, when Shankar's managing director Hiro Bhojwani is expected to take the stand.