Soon he was working for two bosses, Shepherd and Colosi, both well known to authorities but neither of them bothered in a place where police involvement in the scams is widely alleged.
"Most of the time you look for American contacts because of the value of the dollar, and because the fraudsters here have contacts in America who wrap up the job over there," Samuel said.
"It's very important for the international community to know that Nigeria is not glossing over the problem of 419.
(Sunday Alamba / AP) FESTAC, Nigeria — As patient as fishermen, the young men toil day and night, trawling for replies to the e-mails they shoot to strangers half a world away. But the few who actually reply make this a tempting and lucrative business for the boys of Festac, a neighborhood of Lagos at the center of the cyber-scam universe.
There have been 12 convictions in such cases brought during that time, he said.
Okauru said he felt this was a good result given the sluggishness of Nigeria's legal system, but critics say the courts are too slow and corrupt.
After noting Samuel's speed and skill, the crime boss, nicknamed Shepherd, invited him to his mansion to try extracting e-mail addresses using search engines.
Then, to make Samuel feel special, he took him shopping for designer clothes. When you're around him he makes you feel you have no problems," Samuel said.