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Farida Waziri, head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has announced that her agency, aided by Microsoft, has begun a large-scale crackdown on the email scammers who have made Nigeria infamous to Internet users for 20 years.

Waziri, speaking at a National Conference of Black Mayors convention in Las Vegas, said her commission has arrested 18 people and shut down 800 email accounts linked to scams.

She said the operation, dubbed “Eagle Claw,” will be fully operational in six months with the capacity to shut down 5,000 fraudulent email accounts and send 230,000 advisory emails to victims each month.

“It will take Nigeria out of the top 10 list of countries with the highest incidence of fraudulent e-mails,” she said.

This has the potential for reducing Internet fraud coming out of a historic hot spot. Nigeria, like developing nations everywhere, has an uphill battle to fight, with limited resources, against crime and corruption. It’s good to see Microsoft lending some technical assistance.

Nice work Ms. Waziri and Microsoft.

If Operation Eagle Claw works, maybe Nigeria can farm her out as a consultant to Russia. They could call it “Operation Bear Claw.” Then she can come to Florida and go after the spam industry here. (Operation Armadillo Claw?)

ArsTechnica story here.

See BBC story here.

Tom Kelchner