Two bowling alley staff held hostage by man with sawn-off shotgun

A gunman who stormed a bowling alley in Nuneaton has taken two members of staff hostage, according to the company’s chief executive.

Head of MFA Bowl, Mehdi Amshar, said he had been informed the pair were being held at gunpoint at the Nuneaton branch.

Mr Amshar suggested the gunman might the boyfriend or husband of one of the staff members, but this has not been confirmed.

“We believe from what my manageress tells me that he is an ex-husband or a boyfriend of a member of staff,” he told Sky News.

“That is what I know, I can’t confirm that for definite.”

Mr Amshar said there had been no contact with the two members of staff, adding: “All our staff, the rest of our staff, are safe and they made sure that all the customers have left the premises so everybody is in safety, with the exception of the two people who are, we know that are missing and we assume that they are the two that are still inside the premises because the manageress has done the check but those two people are not accounted for.”

Police have not yet confirmed how many hostages are being held or the precise nature of the siege.

Officers place the surrounding area on lockdown after customers fled the bowling alley on seeing the gunman.

Customer Lawrence Hallet was inside the bowling alley for a children’s party.

He told Sky the gunman was a “40-odd-year-old guy, rough round edges, unshaven, etcetera”

Nigerian con artists no longer hide behind princes in an attempt to steal your cash

Prosecutors in Gulfport, Mississippi, recently took down one Nigerian crime ring that brought in $52 million.

For one former government agent, that scam began with a woman showing up at his door.

“I was overseas on a government assignment. … I got a call from my wife that someone had come onto our property looking for me,” said the agent, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity. “The person told my wife that she had met me with my name” on a dating website.

That woman drove miles to a rural town to meet a man she had never met, but believed she was in love with. Others sent letters.

“They were asking, ‘why aren’t I hearing from you? Where are you? What do you want me to do with the clothes, with the laptop I purchased?” he said.

The former agent’s name and location were used to reel in people looking for love all across the country. It all began with scripts blasted out on dating websites.

“The same language was used with one person after another … it didn’t matter if it was male or female,” said Annette Williams, an assistant U.S. attorney with the Southern District of Mississippi, who prosecuted the case.

The scripts had a specific target in mind.

“These type of transnational criminal organizations solicit their victims between the ages of 45- 75, widowed men and women. They choose these individuals because they are lonely, [and] in most occasions, they have access to money,” said Todd Williams, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations.

After a relationship was established, the con artists began asking for favors.

“I want you to assist me pay the bill,” one note asked.

That’s what happened to N.J., who asked CNBC to identify her by her initials.

“He asked me about my family and I asked him about his. … It was like … if he was here and we knew each other,” she said. “How you would talk with a boyfriend.”

N.J.’s online boyfriend sent her a box of phones and asked her to mail them to Africa. That’s when she got suspicious and called police.

“That one phone call took down this massive fraud network,” said Conor Mulroe, a Department of Justice trial attorney, who prosecuted the case.