Police say a city-based identity theft and credit fraud ring with roots in Nigeria, stole thousands of personal identities from people across the U.S. and Canada, racked up charges on individual accounts, and shipped forged credit cards to eager buyers worldwide, including in Japan, India, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.
"We think they have this sort of reach. It's international in scope," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Kelly and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown say the ring was based in Queens and broken up after a 21-month operation in which police recovered card-making equipment, cash and credit reports.
They say banks and individuals on both sides of the border have already lost $15 million in the scheme.