Nigeria - 419 Coalition 1999 News on Nigerian Scam / 419 Operations

16 DEC 99
This was reported in the Nigerian print media 10 DEC:

An American citizen, Karl Heitz, has instituted a suit at the Federal High 
Court in Lagos seeking the sum of $ 5 million or its naira equivalent being 
damages for conspiracy, deceit, negligence and laundering of his money by 
some Nigerian businessmen. Heitz, in a proposed amended particulars of claim, 
filed by Mr. Omachi Ologbo, named the following parties as co-defendants: 
London Trust Bank Plc, Martin J. White, Leed Merchant Bank Ltd, Mr. O.A. 
Smith; Mr. Pop Silva, Mr. Oliver Ohenweh and Linco Transworld Nigeria Ltd.

3 DEC 1999
From  'The Age' newspaper, a Melbourne, Australia daily, Saturday 
20th November 1999, as synopsized by a 419 Coalition associate in
Australia and sent in to us:

Heading:  Nigerian scam leads the gullible greedy to death.
Written by: Ed O’Loughlin from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The article starts by stating that South African police have broken up a 
gang of tricksters who had added a deadly new twist to a familiar old 
scam.  The police had rescued a Danut Mircea Tetrescu, a 42 year old 
Romanian businessman who had been kidnapped on 9th November.  The
police  arrested seven suspected gang members, five South Africans and
two Nigerians.

Senior Superintendent Chris Wilken said the suspects were being interrogated 
to see if they were the same people who had kidnapped, and probably killed, 
Kjetil Moe, a 65 year old Norwegian millionaire, in September.

The article said that Mr. Tetrescu and Mr. Moe were among nine businessmen 
known to have fallen victim to a new version of the 4-1-9 scam, which uses 
the greed of gullible Westerners to relieve them of their cash.  One of the 
nine, Jean Pierre Li Shing  a Canadian resident of Mauritius, was found 
bound and dead beside a road in June.  Four others had survived after paying 
a ransom, and a fifth had been freed by police.

The article goes on to explain how a traditional 4-1-9 works and the origins 
of the name.  It says the new version of the scam weds Nigerian guile to 
South African strongarm tactics.  It then quotes Senior Superintendent 
Wilken again saying that it’s possible that others have also been caught in 
the scam but have not reported it.  

The article finishes by saying that Interpol has long rated Nigerians as 
world-beaters when it comes to mail and fax frauds.

29 NOV 1999
The Senator Afikuyomi and whistleblower Keyamo matter in which
Keyamo has charged that Afikuyomi is a bail jumping 419er appears
according the the Nigerian media to be degenerating into some
kind of mutual political name-calling mess.  Senator Afikuyomi has
said that the old charges were baseless and were the result of
a misunderstanding between friends at the time and that the
matter was resolved; meanwhile Keyamo the whistleblower has
been hassled for obtaining the "incriminating" documents, regardless
of their veracity or nonveracity, through inappropriate channels and 
of doctoring them.  Both men are now indulging the requisite public
name calling and breast beating etc. etc.

From 419 Coalition point of view, the whole matter has largely
become of small consequence - the 419 that Afikuyomi has been 
"charged" with is for a very minor amount of money, and all of this 
hooha is  perceived as unlikely to get us anywhere near where 419 
Coalition wants to get -- which is the swift repatriation of 419ed 
monies in something like the huge amounts in which they have 
been stolen over the years.

24 NOV 1999
From The Guardian, Nigerian Publication, 19 NOV 99:

>> Lawyer, Afikuyomi Trade Claims Over Alleged Theft
>> By Idowu Ajanaku
>> THE searchlight on the life of politicians and public office holders
>> in the present political dispensation beamed further yesterday with
>> an allegation by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, that Senator
>> Tokunbo Afikuyomi jumped bail while being trial for theft and advance
>> fee fraud, otherwise known as 419.
>> Reacting, Afikuyomi described Keyamo's claim as "baseless."
>> Addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, Keyamo said that
>> Afikuyomi is wanted by the police for jumping bail, while the case
>> was at the Apapa Magistrate Court.
>> He, therefore, asked the police to arrest the senator and reopen the
>> case.
>> A charge sheet marked A/320, which Keyamo presented at the press
>> conference reads:
>>      "that you Tokunbo Afikuyomi and others now at large on the 7th
>> day of March, 1989 at about 9 a.m. at Navy Town, Satellite Town
>> defrauded, and obtained the sum of N6,716.00 from one Sam Magbo by
>> false pretence, that you would purchase United States (U.S.) visa and
>> flight ticket for him which you failed to do. The offence is
>> punishable under section 419 of Criminal Code Cap 31 Vol;
>>      "that you, Tokunbo Afikuyomi (m) and others now at large on the
>> same date, time and place did steal of passport valued N100 and the
>> sum of N6,716.00.
>> Keyamo said that Afikuyomi was arraigned on June 12, 1989 but was
>> granted bail in the sum of N6,000.00 and one surety in the like sum.
>> Surprisingly, he added, Afikuyomi bolted away, thereby stalling the
>> case.
>> The lawyer said that the senator was subsequently declared wanted and
>> a warrant of arrest issued to that effect.
>> The warrant of arrest dated 29/11/89 made available to The Guardian
>> was signed by the chief magistrate of Apapa Court with Afikuyomi's
>> photograph attached.
>> The police, he advised, should, therefore, arrest Afikuyomi and
>> reopen the case.
>> But Afikuyomi, in his response, said the allegation is baseless and
>> calculated to tarnish his image.
>> He said: "I don't know what they are talking about. I have been
>> around. He says police have been looking for me all these years and
>> have not found me? I go to the police everytime, I am always
>> around. What is he saying? That a ticket to the United States, visa
>> and all that? Am I a travel agent? Or how can the quoted sum take you
>> to the United States?
>> "They cannot be serious. They can go to court. It is better that way.
>> "You see, these people are out to make wild, baseless accusations.
>> They are mischievously concerned about my good person, my
>> achievements and my prospects. All they are trying to do is to damage
>> good reputations but you know that falsehood will always fall flat in
>> the face of truth. They would not go anywhere.
>> "I am what I am and will continue to pursue my goals which is founded
>> on truth, honesty, good conscience for the good of my society and the
>> benefit of man."

20 NOV 99
From ThisDay, Nigerian publication, 19 NOV 99:

> Afikuyomi in Police Wanted List
>  By Kola Ologbondiyan 
>  Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Festus Keyamo has alleged that
>  Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi was in 1989 involved in a criminal case for
>  which he jumped bail and now on police wanted list. Keyamo made this
>  allegation in a document made available to ThisDay yesterday and signed by
>  the Lagos lawyer. 
>  Keyamo alleged that Afikuyomi was involved in Advance Fee Fraud aka 419
>  and was charged to court for these offences but allegedly ran away from
>  justice.  He further alleged that due to the poor record system in the
>  country, the police does not know that this man who has worked his way
>  into the Senate should indeed be on their wanted list. 
>  Detailing how Afikuyomi got entangled in the police net, Keyamo revealed
>  that he gathered from the grapevine that the Senator was charged to court
>  for some offence sometime in the 1980s.  He said without nothing to work
>  with, he first ruled out the possibility of a high court since the police
>  will normally charge matters to the magistrate courts adding that another
>  problem he confronted was that Apapa Magisterial division where he headed
>  had about four courts where Afikuyomi allegedly faced
>  criminal charges. 
>  Keyamo further disclosed that he painstakingly went through the records of
>  all four magistrate courts at Apapa in the last fifteen years before " I
>  stumbled upon the court record which indicates quite interestingly, that
>  it was on June 12, but this time in 1989, that Mr. Tokunbo Afikuyomi was
>  arraigned on a two-count charge of advance-fee fraud known as 419 and
>  stealing a passport." 
>  The human rights activist further stated that "the charge with number
>  A/320/89 was signed by a Deputy Superintendant of Police (DSP), the victim
>  of the fraud was one Mr. Sam Mogbo and the Magistrate was one Mr. R.A
>  Odetoyinbo.  The prosecutor was one Sergeant Joseph Akose.  Bail was
>  granted to Tokunbo Afikuyomi in the sum of N6,000.00 and one
>  surety in like sum. 
>  Dissatisfied with the level of success, the Lagos lawyer said he had to
>  delve into the full details of the case saying that required him to
>  discover the particular police station that charged the matter to
>  court.  Keyamo inquired from old members of staff about the signature of
>  the DSP on the charge sheet and got information that the particular
>  signature was always on charge sheets that came from Satellite Police
>  Station. 
>  He said his findings especially at the smaller police station inside
>  Satellite Town which served as the main Satellite Police
>  Station in the 80's "clearly indicate that after Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi
>  was granted bail, he bolted away never to be seen in Apapa Court 1 again.
>  Thus Afikuyomi's trial could not go on.  He was subsequently declared
>  wanted and a warrant for his arrest issued to this effect with his
>  passport pinned to it," he declared. 
>  Keyamo who attached photocopies of court charges against Afikuyomi,
>  warrant of arrest with the Senator's passport photograph, police diary of
>  action, taken amongst others to buttress his allegation called on the
>  press, Alliance for Democracy (AD) on whose platform the Senator was
>  elected, the National Assembly, the human rights community and the
>  Inspector General of Police to act immediately and let the truth prevail. 
>  The lawyer, however, maintained that Afikuyomi did not fill INEC Form 001
>  for Tinubu as the Senator had earlier claimed citing that "the
>  confessional statement of Afikuyomi and Tinubu's INEC Form, both in my
>  possession does not indicate any similarity." 

17 NOV 99
Sent out by Nigeria's Vanguard this date and to us by a concerned 

                 FG to publish names of 419 suspects 
The Federal Government will soon publish particulars of suspected 
fraudsters, also known as 419ers, as part of the efforts to save foreign 
and local investors from being duped, the Minister of Commerce, 
Alhaji  Mustapha Bello, said in Abuja yesterday.

He said that the step was also being taken to help in bolstering public
confidence in the country, an essential ingredient to attract foreign

Mustapha told newsmen in the federal capital that a special investigation 
panel on trade malpractices had compiled the addresses, telephone and fax
numbers used in sending scam messages and that Nigeria’s foreign trade
partners were already being alerted.

The minister, who lamented that the activities of the dupers had continued 
to cast the country in bad light, stressed that they had also scared off
many would-be foreign investors who feared being ripped off.

He vowed to ‘’put in everything’’ within his powers to expose the 
dealers, saying that the attack on their deeds would be fully 
sustained in spite of their being crafty in their operations.  

419 Coalition note:  The Nigerian Government promised this sort of
thing plus television coverage of the 419ers detained in the Nigerian
Government white paper on 419 in mid-1992.  419 Coalition sincerely 
hopes that the Obasanjo Government follows through on this promise, 
as it would be a Very Welcome first step in the right direction.  419 
Coalition also hopes for quick trials and rapid repatriation of 419ed 
funds.  We are always pleased to report on any constructive steps 
taken by the GOV of Nigeria in controlling supply-side 419.

15 OCT 99
From the Usenet soc.culture.nigeria newsgroup posted this date.
419 Coalition would like to add that, the Central Bank of Nigeria's
most recent Press Statement notwithstanding, the Black Currency
version of 419 is Nothing New.  In fact, it is the second most prevalent
type of 419 after the Classic 419 version and has been for many
years.  The Black Currency 419 version of the Scam is actually
based, as we understand it, on a centuries old traditional West
African con called the "Red Mercury" scam.  CBN should of
course know this.  At any rate, the postings follow, verbatim,
419 Coalition posting on top of the original posting:


The last update of the below item on our site was in 1995
and we see no reason to change it, the new ad campaign
notwithstanding.  Additionally, and unfortunately, we have
noticed no decline in the rate of 419, including 419 operations
since the Obasanjo GOV came to power. We still average
over 60 hits a day on our main page as we have always done.

This is all very unfortunate, as we had great hopes for the
Obasanjo Government in attacking supply-side 419.  Perhaps
it will get around to it after dealing with the Institutional 419
problems which are its current focus ( rightfully so ).

We would suggest that since many other GOVs and
private organizations, including ours, are educating
people on the demand-side of 419, the monies of
the Nigerian Government being spent, best case,
to educate the demand-side of the equation would
be better spent in dealing effectively with the supply-
side of the equation, since, given Nigerian sovereignty,
they are really the only ones who Can deal with the
supply-side in 419 operations.


419 Coalition

                 419 COALITION STATEMENT ON

     When the Nigerian Scam produces enough negative press, SOP for
successive Nigerian Governments has been for the Central Bank of
Nigeria to buy ads in the Wall Street Journal etc. saying that
neither they nor the Nigerian Government has anything to do with
the Scam and that they, in fact, are doing everything they can to
control it.

     Since, in fact, the cooperation of both successive Nigerian
Governments and the Central Bank of Nigeria have been absolutely
essential to the continuation of large-scale Scam operations over
the years, these ads represent nothing more than a cynical public
relations ploy to get the heat off while the Scam continues

     Likewise, the Nigerian Government's purchase of advertising
time on 60 Minutes 5 NOV 95, a program which has been ( with some
help from 419 Coalition associates and others ) critical of the
regime, trumpeting that "Nigeria is a member of the world
community" etc. was nothing more than a cynical public relations
move to relieve both the pressure brought on the Nigerian
Government due to continued Scam operations and to deflect the
coming criticism it would receive for the hanging of several
dissidents, including a Nobel prize nominee author.

     You need to know that the Nigerian Governments' ploy of using
paid advertising in the international media to escape criticism for
its misdeeds is an established pattern - a perfect example of what
Goebbels used to call the "Big Lie" technique - used repeatedly and
quite successfully over the years.


> Fellow Nigerians and well wishers:
> Please find below the full text of an advertisement in today's Globe & Mail
> (Canada), 14/10/99 and probably in many other major national newspapers
> around the world.
> As the press statement clearly indicated, if it sounds to good to be true it
> is probably not true. Only people who are by themselves corrupt and greedy
> are usually taken in by these scams. To be forewarned is to be foreamed. The
> Nigerian government through its Central Bank has done its duty. This
> advertisement/press statement took a complete half page in a long format
> newspaper. It can't be easily missed!
> >From now henceforth, no reasonable person any where in the world could with
> good conscience hold the Nigerian government, its Central Bank or the
> millions of innocent Nigerian people responsible for these scams. The money
> spent on the advertisement is money well spent in my humble opinion!
>  (14th October 1999
> as published in the Globe and mail)
>  1 The publicity campaigns by the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN) and the
> Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have proved successful in
> sensitizing the public about the menace of advance fee fraud and the
> falsehood of claims that easy money could be made in Nigeria. Consequently,
> the reported incidence of advance fee fraud (A.K,A. ‘419 ), has declined
> significantly. Nevertheless, there are still some people who have continued
> to fall victim to the solicitations of advance fee fraudsters. This warning
> is, therefore, specifically intended for the benefit of those misguided
> people who, in the quest to make easy money at the expense of Nigeria, are
> defrauded by international fraudsters.
> 2 The advance fee fraud is perpetrated by enticing the victim with a bogus
> ‘business  proposal which promises millions of US dollars as a reward. The
> scam letter usually promises to transfer huge amounts of money, usually
in US
> dollars, purported to be part proceeds of certain contracts, to the
> s bank account, to be shared in some proportion between the parties. A
> favorable response to the letter is followed by excuses why the funds cannot
> be remitted readily and subsequently by demands for proportionate sharing of
> payments for various ‘taxes  and ‘fees  supposedly to facilitate the
> processing and remittance of the alleged funds. The use of ‘fake
> Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, etc.
> documents is a common practice.
> 3 The fraudsters usually request that at the transaction be done under the
> cover of confidentiality. Sometimes, the ‘victims  are invited to Nigeria
> where they are given red-carpet reception and attended to by the fraudsters,
> posing as Nigerian Government officials. Quite often the fraudsters invent
> bogus Government committees purported to have cleared the payments. Also, it
> is not unusual for them to contrive fake publications in the newspapers
> evidencing purported approvals to transfer non-existent funds.
> 4 To consummate the transaction, the ‘victim  would he required to pay
> ‘advance fees  for various purposes: e.g. processing fees, unforeseen taxes,
> licence fees, registration fees, signing/legal fees, fees for National
> Economic Recovery Fund, VAT, audit fees, insurance coverage fees, etc. The
> collection of these ‘advance fees is actually the real objective of the
> 5 A recent variant of the scam directed primarily at charitable
> and religious bodies overseas involves bogus inheritance under a will. Again
> the sole aim is to collect the ‘advance fees  already described above. A new
> strategy that has also been used to defraud the ‘victims  is an offer to use
> chemicals to transform ordinary paper into United States dollar bills, which
> would be subsequently shared by the parties.
> 6 You are again warned in your own interest not to become yet another
dupe to
> these fraudulent solicitations or
> schemes. Genuine and prospective investors in Nigeria are advised to consult
> their home Chambers  of Commerce and Industry, or Nigeria s Chambers  of
> Commerce and Industry, Manufacturers  Associations of Nigeria, Federal
> Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Nigerian Missions in their countries of
> origin, their embassies or High Commissions in Nigeria for proper briefing
> and advice.
> ‘7The Central Bank and indeed, the Federal Government  of Nigeria cannot and
> should not be held responsible for bogus and shady deals transacted with
> criminal intentions. As a responsible corporate body, the Central Bank of
> Nigeria is once again warning all recipients of fraudulent letters on bogus
> deals, that there are no contract payments trapped in the bank s vaults.
> are once again put on notice that all documents appertaining to the payment,
> claims, or transfers purportedly issued by the bank, its senior
executives or
> the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the various purposes
> described above are all forgeries, bogus and fraudulent.
> 8 Please join the Central Bank and the Federal
>  Government of Nigeria to fight the criminal syndicates
> who play on the gullibility and greed of their victims by reporting. any
> solicitation to your local law  enforcement agencies or the local
> International Police Organization (Interpol).
> 9 You have been warned several times before! You have been warned again!!

7 OCT 99

                        US Declares 27 Nigerians Wanted 
                                October 6, 1999 
                         By Adelanwa Bamgboye 

Lagos - No fewer than 27 Nigerians have been declared wanted by the 
United States Department of Justice for offences ranging from drug 
trafficking to laundering of narcotics proceeds.

Already, the USA has made extradition requests to Nigeria to surrender 
the wanted persons. The suspects are to be extradited to face criminal 

Some of the suspects whose names were submitted to the Nigerian 
Government include Prince Mingi Cookey accused of wire fraud and 
conspiracy, Nwakibe Ugochi-money laundering of Narcotics proceeds, 
Nwokedi Emeka-conspiracy to import Heroin and Ogunegbe Jude-wire fraud 
and money laundering.

Others include Mr. and Mrs. Oluwole Ogunbuyi-conspiracy to import Heroin,
Okipiri Johnny, Rasheed A.M, and Alhaji Usman Tukor.

P.M.New checks revealed that the extradiction of fugitives is governed 
by a 1931 extradition treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain under 
the principle of succession.

Also, Nigeria entered into an agreement with the US on procedures for 
mutual assistance in law enforcement matters on 2 November 1987. 

        Copyright (c) 1999 P.M. News. Distributed via Africa News Online

29 SEP 99
In case anyone has doubt about whether it is business as usual for
the 419ers under the new GOV in Nigeria, over the last 2 weeks in
addition to many other reports we have had reported a $6 million
loss from Australia and a $1  million loss from Colorado; both 419's
still running as of this date.

We here have noticed NO reduction at all in 419 operations emanating
from Nigeria since the new Government came into power, in fact, it
seems to us that 419 operations are, if anything, continuing to escalate.

20 AUG 99
US GOV Task Force Is Changing Phone Numbers 30 AUG

The United States Government Joint Task Force on West
African Fraud, run by the Secret Service, and also known
among other things, as the 419 Task Force is Moving to
larger quarters and changing its phone numbers and
address Effective 30 AUG 99.

The New Phone Numbers for Task Force will be:

Voice: 202-406-5850
Fax:   202-406-6930

The New Snailmail Address Effective 30 AUG is:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
419 Task Force
950 H Street
Washington, D.C.  20001-4518

Task Force has also acquired Outside-In email capability.
They note that this can be used for forwarding 419 letters received
via email rather than printing them out and faxing them in.  Materials
sent in should still be labeled  No Financial Loss - For Your 
Database if that is the case and Loss - and whether or not there is
a US Connection - if there Was a Loss, just as always.  If you are
from outside the US, you should also note the Nation you are from.

Please try not to use the email address for general inquiries and
the like; there is plenty of material already up on the web on this
site, the Secret Service Site, and all the other sites we have linked
in our Scam Fighting Links Section etc.  Please do your General
research there, the Special Agents are quite busy catching the
Bad Guys and, in 419 Coalition view, really do not have the time
to answer a pile of General questions the answers to which are
readily available elsewhere.  So please use the Email address
for Serious Business Only AFTER you have done your homework.
And Please don't be emailing them and asking if they ever heard
of your particular Scammer etc. etc. - for legal reasons they are 
not permitted to tell you even if they have, so there is No point 
in asking. 

The New Email address for Task Force is:

Please note down the new phone numbers, the new snailmail
address, and the new email address.  Remember that the new
phone numbers and addresses don't go into effect until 30 AUG.
Until then, use the old ones.

6 AUG 99
Nigerians are justifiably proud of their World Cup Contender
Super Eagles football team, and of hosting the World Youth
Soccer Championships.  That makes the following 419 letter
especially repulsive.  Is NOTHING sacred?  :)  :)

By the way, under the Obasanjo government, so far, 419 Coalition
continues to average over 60 hits a day on our main page, just as
we did under its predecessors.  Sad, but true.  And the Obasanjo
Government Wants Foreigners to Invest in Nigeria?  Ah well...

Here is the 419ers 'Let's Use Something Nigerians Can be Proud of
to Further Humiliate the Nation' 419 letter:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
X-Mozilla-Status: 0011
Content-Length: 3108
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 17:15:33 -0700 (PDT)














25 JUN 1999
This piece sent in by a Concerned Nigerian:


Dramatic escape in
Japanese kidnap
OWN CORRESPONDENT, Durban | Sunday 10.30am

IN A dramatic twist, a visiting Japanese businessman who was allegedly
kidnapped, on Saturday escaped and ran into a hotel sushi restaurant in
Durban for refuge.

Johannesburg police spokesman Inspector Mark Reynolds said on Sunday morning
that Kensuke Matsumoto left a Johannesburg hotel on Wednesday to conduct
business in Durban with Nigerian nationals.

He was thought kipnapped after his son in Japan received a phonecall askin
him to pay $50 000 as ransom for his release.

"I have been confined. They will not release me until the money is paid.
Please send $50 000," Matsumoto was quoted by his son as saying. After his
escape, Matsumoto fled to a Japanese restaurant in the Holiday Inn on
Durban's Snell Parade, from where the police were summoned. Matsumoto was
taken for a medical examination, but he did not appear to be seriously

Police said his kidnapping could be connected to the so-called 419 scam
letters. These are letters written by Nigerian nationals, which lures their
victims to either deposit sums into their accounts with promises of large
returns, or to lure their victims to areas where they are abducted and
forced to pay money to be released.

Further reports indicate that Matsumoto was one of four foreigners

26 MAY 1999
This piece sent in by a Concerned Nigerian:

ABUJA MIRROR: MAY 19-25, 1999

Nigerian "419ers" hit the Internet

NIGERIAN white collar and advance-fee fraudsters who have brought untold
damage to their nation's image have now invaded the Internet with their
nefarious activities.

The scammers who had effected their fraudulent acts through letters sent by
fax to gullible, greedy and unimaginative people abroad who lose huge sums
of money to the crooks, in the belief that they would benefit from some
obviously dubious transactions, like contracts at NNPC or the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN).

Abuja Mirror investigations have unearthed a frightening new dimension to
the scam as the scammers have now started posting their letters on the
Internet with the hope that they would trap more victims through the world
network of computers.

In the past one week alone, Abuja Mirror has accessed over seven of such
letters making fantastic and obviously fraudulent business proposals which
can only appeal to the naive, greedy or outrightly foolish Internet

For instance, one individual who described himself as Richard Kellogs
posted a mail from an e-mail address: richard, 
stating that he seeks assistance for one of his clients whom he claims 
is "the son of a top government official who served in the past military 
regime here in Nigeria (and who) wishes to invest the sum of US 
$30, 000,000 (thirty million dollars), in Africa, America, Europe or Asia".

The "Business Consultant" who claims he is writing from the obviously
non-existent address of 9 Press Avenue, Lagos, Nigeria, further states:
"For obvious reasons, our client does not wish to place this fund with
established financial institutions. It is his desire that the deal be
handled as quietly as possible without possibility of any leakage to the
press. He has therefore instructed us to look for a reliable foreigner to
invest this money on his behalf".

"If you agree to act as a fund manager", the letter continued, "we shall
release the sum of US $30 million to you if you meet our requirements. The
money is available in cash and upon a favourable response from you, we
shall know how to commence business with you".

The letter then promised advanced payment commission of 15 per cent of the
total sum to the 'fund manager' as well as an annual commission of 10
percent of the returns on investment for the first five years..."

Another writer who seems to have netted a victim, claims to be the son of
the late first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and that the 'cruel military
government' in Nigeria has been frustrating his attempts to invest his late
father's huge fortune in the country, and is therefore looking for an
interested foreigner who would serve as a broker for the purported huge

From the exchanges on the net, it is obvious that an interested foreigner
has fallen for the scam, and a meeting has been fixed in Ghana where the
foreigner will definitely be set up and ripped off through the demand of
sundry sums.

Yet another scam e-mail posted by one "Ahmed Mustapha" from
"", and addressed to one Carlo Pace, on 
May 13, 1999, states: "My name is Ahmed Mustapha, a staff of Federal 
Ministry of Finance. Following approval for the payment of debt owed to 
creditors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the budget of 1998, I have 
the mandate of my colleagues to source for a reliable businessman who 
will help us to claim some of this approved money".

The mail continued, "Out of the approved $836 million for debt repayment,
$233 million is non existing loan which we have carefully included and now
need a potential foreign partner who will assist us to receive it and
invest on our behalf. For a start we are ready to apply for an immediate
payment of $33 million ..."

Continuing the mail declared, "The process of transferring this money is
known to us and we are ready to share it on the ratio of 60%: 40% once we
can jointly finance the transfer of the funds to your account or any
company account nominated by you. It will take a maximum of two working 
weeks".  As usual the businessman was requested to furnish the writer with
his address, fax/phone numbers as well his banking details, and instructed 
not to reveal the information to anyone.

Fortunately, the scam deal seems to have fallen flat on its face, as the
mail addressee scoffed at the mail and drew the Internet subscribers to the
scam, stating that the mail was an old story from Nigeria.

It would be recalled that the different relevant agencies in Nigeria like
the CBN, the Police and the Ministry of Information have been warning
nationals of all nations to be wary of scam letters from Nigeria and to
make contact with Nigerian missions before taking up business propositions
[with Nigeria].

419 Coalition Comment:  We appreciate this piece in the Abuja Mirror,
though it does, as is customary in the Nigerian media, concentrate on
Classic 419 and ignore so-called Legal 419 ( like the Will Scam, Contract
Fraud, COD Goods and Services Fraud ) in which there is no question
whatever of victim as co-conspirator, etc.  Additionally, the Bad Guys have
been attempting to use the Net for their operations for over two years
now, this is in actuality nothing new.  But, the general view is that given
the mass of information available concerning 419 readily available
on the Net, on demand, 24/7 ( including this site ), the odds of successful
419ing are less via the net than by other means -- though the Bad Guys
still try, of course, and will keep on trying.  On the warnings from CBN etc.
etc., we are afraid that we here still see these as largely a smoke screen
convering butt againt the inability or unwillingness of the Nigerian
authorities to make counter-419 a priority matter in which the criterion
for successful operations is the Repatriation of stolen monies on the
same scale as it is absconded with ( see GOV of Nigeria Media
Campaigns menu item on front page of this site, that was written several
years ago, and we are afraid nothing much has changed, though we
are always hopeful that it will; and that large scale quantifiable results
will be obtained consistently from GOV of Nigeria efforts in this
matter ).

24 MAY 1999
This in from Frieda Springer-beck of IIGN, a German based global
organization fighting 419:

...Nigeria has given last week the very first final judgment  in a case 
of advance-fee-fraud.  The victim is a member of our association and 
together with the police I could organize the arrest of the suspects.
The judgment was already pronounced last year in february. But now 
Nigeria has given final judgment, without any change.  I think, this should 
be a very good sign. 

Also I could understand during my stay in Lagos last week, that there 
are a lot of changes in progress.

Of course, I am very grateful to the Nigerian Government and to 
Inspector General of Police who are leaving end of May. With their 
help and assistance we could start the fight against advance fee 
fraud at all.

I am also very hopefully, that the new HEAD OF STATE, General 
Obasanjo will calm down fraud which he promised... 

419 Coalition Note:  We responded to Ms. Springer-Beck that we are
pleased, as always, with any constructive actions that the Government
of Nigeria takes in this matter.  However, we did note that success in
one, or few cases, makes little impact in the overall situation, in which
there are globally hundreds, perhaps thousands of new cases daily.
We did indicate that the primary criterion of success in this matter is,
for us, the amount of monies flowing back in relation to the amount of
monies which have flowed in, not convictions etc., which remain very
few, though convictions are indeed welcome as well.  Finally we
joined Ms. Springer-Beck in the hope that the incoming Obasanjo
administration will take a more active role in this matter, reiterating
our criterion for success as stated above.

11 MAY 1999
This piece sent in by a concerned Nigerian:

18 charged in plot to steal $332,000 using counterfeit bank drafts 
By Susan Schramm 
Indianapolis Star/News 
INDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 1999) -- They were told they could get easy cash. 
Some of them were told they wouldn't get caught. But the 15 Indianapolis-
area residents recruited into a scheme using counterfeit checks did get 
They cooperated with local and federal investigators but not before 
they caused a loss to area banks of $152,000, authorities said Monday. 
"Most of them have no criminal histories and are really inexperienced 
in this," said Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman. "We think they 
were sought out probably because they were young and naive." 
Newman and the U.S. Secret Service announced the filing of criminal 
charges Monday against the 15 men and women and the three men who are
accused of recruiting them. 

The accused ringleader, Mobolaji A. Omolade, 25, of the 2400 block of
Hovey Street, was charged with 14 felony counts -- fraud, conspiracy 
to commit forgery and theft. 
Omolade has been in the Marion County Jail since March. He is set to go 
on trial Thursday on previously filed charges of forgery, theft, 
attempted theft and fraud. Those charges are related to the counterfeit 
check scheme. 
Omolade, a U.S. citizen born to Nigerian parents, has been held on $1 
million bail, set high because of his statements to a friend that he 
was going to flee to Alaska. 
Also Monday, police arrested one of two men suspected of being an Omolade
accomplice. Louis David Query, 20, of Greenwood was being  processed
Monday evening at the Marion County Lockup. 
Police still were searching for Anthony McNary, 27, of the 2100 block of 
North Medford Avenue. McNary was charged with four counts of fraud, and 
Query was charged with five counts of fraud. 
The 15 people who were recruited to pass the counterfeit checks at area
banks have not been arrested, but some of them were arranging to turn
themselves in, Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Larry Brodeur said. 
The counterfeiting scheme began with a source in New York who supplied 
Omolade with counterfeit checks, Newman said. The scheme, which began 
last July, worked like this, Newman said: 

The counterfeit checks appeared to be real and contained actual company 
names with the companies' actual bank account numbers. The people 
recruited by the men would receive a counterfeit check made payable to 
The check would usually be in an amount around $20,000 and would be drawn
on a company's actual checking account. The people would then  deposit the
checks in their personal bank accounts, opened at Indianapolis-area banks. 
Within a week, the person would withdraw the money in increments and give 
it to Omolade, McNary or Query. In exchange for filtering the money 
through their bank accounts, the person would generally get $1,000 to 
Some of the banks caught the bad checks, some of the companies stopped 
payment on the checks before they went through, and police obtained court
orders to freeze some of the bank accounts, Newman said. 
Because of those efforts, the banks didn't lose as much money as they 
could have. The defendants tried to steal at least $332,000, Newman said,
but got away with only $152,000. 

The investigation is continuing into the New York source of the counterfeit
checks, police said. 
 5 MAY 1999
This piece was reported in the Nigerian print media 3 MAY and
was sent in by a concerned Nigerian:

4 NIPOST Staff Held Over 419
Four staffers of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) have been
arrested by detectives attached to the Special Task Force on
International Fraud at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport,

P.M.News learnt that the NIPOST staff were arrested on last Monday
while allegedly tampering with both local and international mails sent
to various notable Nigerians through the airport.

Their arrest, according to sources, followed intelligence tips on
their illegal activities by members of the Task Force headed by Mr.
Okoro, an intelligence officer at the airport. Airport security
sources who confirmed the incident said they were on the trail of
others who have dented the image of the country by illegally tampering
with mails and engaging in advance fee fraud known as 419.

Sources hinted that those who were arrested will soon be arraigned
before the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal. On Tuesday, Mr. Ogbonnaya
Onovo, a Police Commissioner and Chairman of the National Drug Law
Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said his men arrested immigration and
airport officials for allegedly engaging in illegal drug trafficking
outside Nigeria.

419 Coalition Comment:  We are very much in favor of anything that can
be done by GOV of Nigeria to stem the tide at the source.  We would
also, however, like to see some of the "Big Man" 419ers arrested -- 
even if they are in Government, CBN, or other responsible posts -- 
AND their stolen monies promptly repatriated from whence they came. 

5  MAY  1999
This piece is is from the PM News,  a Nigerian newspaper:

                            Pastor In 419 Scam 
                                 May 4, 1999 
                            By Adelanwa Bamgboye 

Lagos - An Igbosere Chief Magistrate Court has ordered that a bench 
warrant be issued for the arrest of Pastor Peter Amuchelan for contempt 
of court.

Sources told P.M. News that in February last year, the pastor allegedly
obtained the sum of N770,000 from Nicholas Umeozor by false pretence 
that he would supply Nicholas with computers, office equipment and 
computer accessories. 

The pastor was further alleged to have on 18 April last year at 24 
Eniasoro Bayonku Street, Surulere obtained various items including 
15 cartons of Peak milk and office items worth N1.3 million property 
of one Miss Nwanyiaye Uwawe. 

After his arrest, detention and arraignment on 12 June last year, the 
court ordered that the pastor be detained and he was charged under the 
advance fee and fraud law of 1995. No plea was taken from the accused 

At the last hearing in the case, the pastor was absent from the court 
were he was facing two separate criminal charges. Sequel to his absence, 
the prosecutor Inspector Ebotha prayed the court to issue a bench warrant 
for the arrest of the pastor. 

Presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate Kotun while adjourning further 
hearing till 2nd July ordered the arrest of the said pastor. 

        Copyright © 1999 P.M. News. Distributed via Africa News

419 Coalition Comment:  As always, we appreciate anything that the GOV
of Nigeria does in these matters.  But once again, we ask Where's the Money
and When Will It Be Returned to the Victim?

14 APR 99
This piece is from the Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by
a concerned Nigerian:

		419ers change tactics blackmail companies

HIT by the dearth of people to con and defraud, a situation occasioned by 
the harsh economic realities, con-men, popularly known as 419ers, are now 
seeking greener pastures in corporate organisations, especially the 
productive sector, which they use various guises to milk to the bones.

The 419ers prowl around big companies, and working in concert with 
disgruntled staffers, brandish fictitious documents containing spurious
allegations of official misdemeanours, and demand a ransom, failing which 
they threaten to turn the ‘document’ to the police and the press. 

The latest victim of these evil desperadoes is an Ikeja-based manufacturing
company, which a group of conmen, operating under the bogus name of Group 
(AG.30) and headed by one Chief Bassey O. Akpan, bombard with a litany of 
alleged misdeeds, and demanded a ransome of N5 million, failing which they
threatened to turn their "findings" to the police or the press. 

The laughable allegations, written on a plain sheet of paper, and addressed 
to both the police and editor of a Lagos evening tabloid, ranged from tax
evasion, cheating in expatriate quota to drug peddling, money laundering 
and importation of arms and ammunition. 

Threatening to expose the evening tabloid as collaborator in the crime if 
it refuses to publish the spurious allegations, the 419 group, demanded 
that the following conditions be met between November 14, 1998 (date of 
its correspondence) and end of February, 1999: that workers salaries be
increased, outstanding taxes paid up to date, casual workers given 
permanent employment, and "pay N5 million to our Group (AG 30_ between 
now and end of February, 1999," among other conditionalities. 

A month earlier, the same letter had been sent to the Lagos State 
Commissioner of Police, who promptly dispatched crack detectives to 
investigate the matter. Before then, and after severe pressures and 
intimidation from the con-men on the company to pay, the organisation 
had turned the letter of blackmail to the police. 

After a thorough investigation, spanning several weeks and during which 
the company and its key officials were thoroughly scrutinised, the police
returned a clean bill of health to the organisation.

The Lagos State commissioner of Police, in a letter to the company, which 
was signed by Mr. K. M. Mukaddam SP, the officer-in-charge of the General
Investigation Department, Ikeja, said: "Based on the report, a team of 
detectives booked and left for the said company for fact finding.

Search warrant was executed in that company and during the execution of
search warrant, no incriminating items were found. One of the company’s 
directors voluntarily took the detectives to inspect all the routes and 
corners of the offices, factories and premises of the said company. 

Also original Certificate of Incorporation of the company was inspected, 
Tax clearance certificate of the last five years was inspected, and found 
to be in order. 

"During the course of this investigation, all the above six allegations 
mentioned by the petitioners against your company were found to be false 
because of no substantial proof. As such it has been discarded with, just 
like the other kinds of allegation made against other good company like 

Furthermore, the petitioner gave fake name and address, which does not 
exist. In conclusion therefore, this office regards the petition as 
baseless and a calculated attempt to destroy the good image of your 
reputable company. This ends the investigation into this false 

Following the abortion of this 419 bid, the public, and indeed corporate
organisations, have been warned to be wary of the new antics of these 
indolent reapers and report any attempt to blackmail them promptly to the 

Vanguard Transmitted 09 April, 1999  

6 APR 1999
From 1 APR 99 Los Angeles Times by Jeff Leeds:

Agents Arrest Nigerian National
Over Alleged Fraud Scheme

U.S. Secret Service Agents have arrested a Nigerian National
for his alleged role in a scheme to defraud a Southern California
businessman out of $1.8 million.

Authorities say Hilary Okey Amadi, 45, is linked to other suspects
in a web of Nigerian organized crime rings engaged in mail fraud
and other scams.

Amadi, who is charged with wire fraud, was ordered detained as
a flight risk Wednesday, a day after he was arrested at his West
Hollywood home.  Authorities say that Amadi has a visa to the
United States but that some of his immigration papers have expired.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Susan De Witt said Amadi posed as a deputy
governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1993 and contacted an
apparel firm owed $35 million by the Nigerian government.  He
allegedly promised to help a company director collect on the debt
in exchange for fees paid upfront.

In a second series of alleged rip-offs, the same victim in 1994 met
in Cameroon with several people who had identified themselves as
Nigerian government officials and had showed him currency covered
with black powder.  They said they would give the man the money if
he first paid for chemicals to clean it.  He told investigators that he
eventually paid about $1.8 million.

Solicitations continued until early this year.  After the victim, a 
Diamond Bar man, complained to authorities, investigators staked
out a print shop from which Amadi allegedly faxed the victim.  They 
later served a search warrant at Amadi's Beverly Hills business, 
Acme Employment Agency.

A preliminary hearing for Amadi is set for April 13.
Here is the original United States Joint West African Fraud Task 
Force and United States Secret Service Press Release issued on 
the Amadi arrest:

Press Release

United States Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas and Frank O'Donnell,
Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Los Angeles
Field Office, announced today the arrest of Hilary Okey Amadi, aka
Mustafa Bello, of West Hollywood, California, on federal wire fraud
charges.  Agents of the United States Secret Service Los Angeles
West African Task Force, assisted by local law enforcement agencies
arrested Amadi at his residence in West Hollywood and executed a
federal search warrant at Acme Employment Agency located at 204
S. Beverly Dr. Suite 105, Beverly Hills, California.

The complaint filed against Amadi charges him with federal wire fraud
stemming from his involvement in an advanced fee fraud scheme.  This
type of fraud scheme, more commonly known as "419" fraud, has come
to be associated with West African organized financial crime rings
operating out of the United States, Nigeria, and abroad.  The name
"419" fraud is derived from the criminal code section in Nigeria relating
to fraud.  This type of fraud scheme typically involves the solicitation
of potential victims via letters sent by facsimile or mail that purport to
be from various government or bank officials in Nigeria.  The solicitation
letters promise the payment of large sums of money in exchange for
payment of advanced fees by the targeted victims.

In this investigation, Amadi attempted to defraud a Diamond Bar,
California, victim of $350,000.  Amadi misrepresented to the victim that
he was the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.  The
complaint alleges that between 1993 and the present, the victim was
defrauded of approximately $1.8 million by other individuals linked to
Amadi.  The complaint further alleges that Amadi told the victim that
he would have to wire transfer $350,000 in order to obtain payment
owed on a $35 million contract between Catouche International
Corporation and the Nigerian Government  for uniforms, shoes, and

In addition to the arrest, during a search of the Acme Employment 
Agency, believed to be used by Amadi as a fictitious business front,
law enforcement officers report discovering documents linking Amadi
to more than 30 additional potential victims throughout the United
States and abroad.  Attempted fraud losses associated with these
victims are expected to exceed several million dollars.

Amadi was brought before federal Magistrate Judge Ann Jones on
March 30, 1999.  A detention hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on
March 31, 1999 before Judge Jones.

Los Angeles Secret Service Agents were assisted by Deputies from
the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and Officers of the Beverly Hills
Police Department.

6 APR 1999
This is the story of a UK Lady 419ed on two levels, in her own
words, posted here with her permission:

In July 1998, I advertised my then home of  X XXXXX XXXX XXX, New
Cross, London, SE14, for sale.  I was contacted by a company called
Uptown Gold UK Ltd, by fax, stating it was from “Ernie and Tony”, with
a view to my renting the property out.  I ignored this fax as I only
wanted to sell.  I was then left a telephone message, by a man who
identified himself as Ernie, from Uptown Gold UK Ltd, asking if I would
be interested in allowing them to act as agents for the sale.  I
returned the call and arranged a valuation inspection with Ernie, but
it was a man who identified himself as Tony who actually attended the
house.  Tony gave me a business card, which I no longer have, this
stated his name as A.A.Egbowon and showed the offices of Uptown Gold UK
Ltd to be at Suite 32, Battersea Business Centre, Lavender Hill,
London.  The only telephone number I recalled for this business was
0171 223 5129, however, these offices are no longer occupied by Uptown
Gold.  Tony and I had quite a jovial chat and I asked about his name,
as one A was obviously for Anthony, what was the other for?  He said
Adeniyi.  I also asked where he was from, as he had a strong African
accent, he said originally Nigeria, but he had lived in Vienna for
about ten years before coming to the UK in October 1997.  He asked
about my husband, and I said was divorced.  He told me he was divorced
also.  A couple of days after the visit, Tony contacted me again,
asking if I wished the company his company to act as agents.  We
negotiated a fee and I was sent a contract, which I signed and returned
to him.  this would have been during either the last few days of July
or the first few days of August 1998.  Following the signing of the
contract, Tony called again and proposed a second visit, in order to
take photographs.  When he called again, he was accompanied by a man
whom he introduced as Ernie.  Ernie spoke with a slight American
accent, but also said he was Nigerian.  I believe this man to be the
same Ernie to whom I had originally spoken.

After this second visit, Tony began to phone me two or three times a
day, updating me on all the contacts he said he had put the house with,
and saying he was advertising it, along with several others, in
property magazines.  After about a week he asked me if I would like to
go out with him for the evening.  I realise now this was after he had
ascertained that I owned the house outright, I was divorced, I did not
have a serious boyfriend, that I had few friends and seldom went out,
and that one of the reasons I was moving was because my mother had
recently died and I would be inheriting some money.  We did go to the
cinema one evening, and Tony’s phone calls continued several times a
day.  He had told me that he was 33 years old and, although I am
somewhat older, we did, as far as I was aware, get on quite well and
had a good time talking.  After a short time, Tony told me he was
actually married, for the sake of convenience, to an Austrian woman,
(whom he referred to as Tina,) but that he was unhappy and wanted to
divorce, but was waiting for his papers to remain in the UK.  He
claimed that he and his wife rowed constantly and that it was draining
him.  He told me he wanted her to leave him of her own volition, rather
than him forcing a divorce on her, which would jeopardise his
residency.  During the next few weeks Tony showed me both a photograph
of the woman he said was Tina and a letterhead for his Company, stating
it was registered at an address in White Hart Lane, Tottenham.  He said
that the address was for his house, which he had bought for cash
earlier in the year.  I later learned that the full address was 132
White Hart Lane.  Tony also told me that he was acting as an agent for
the United States Green Card Lottery.  At one point Tony asked me if I
would like to try for a Green Card and then, later, suggested he and I
“run away together” to the States.  However, due to the fact that Tony
had revealed he was married, and not divorced, as he had originally
claimed, our relationship (which had become sexual) deteriorated and we
parted acrimoniously in September 1998.  I regretted the split, as I
had become very fond of Tony, and attempted to contact him within a day
or so of our parting, but was rebuffed.  As Tony was now refusing to
communicate with me, but still had the contract for the sale of my
house, I spoke to his partner/assistant, Ernie.  I told Ernie the
problem had been caused because Tony and I had not kept our
relationship “professional”, and now that we had parted, Tony was
refusing to deal with me.  Ernie asked if he could mediate , and
proposed visiting me.  I agreed to this as Ernie said that he could get
Tony to release me from the contract.  Ernie then proposed that he take
over the sale, not through Uptown Gold, as he could use another company
as a ‘front’.  He also told me that he and Tony had known each other in
Nigeria, as children, and he knew where Tony’s family lived.  He then
said that Tony and Tina were “deeply in love” and that they were not
likely to part, but that Tony did have a habit of finding “other
women”.  As I quickly discovered, Ernie himself was looking for easy
sex and seemed to think that I would be compliant, which I was not.  I
was, therefore, unsure what to make of his claims regarding Tony’s
marriage.  However, as I wanted to get the contract with Uptown Gold
declared void, I let Ernie visit again, on the pretence of further
discussing his taking the sale over.  On both occasions I was forced to
keep asking Ernie not to make physical contact (he was constantly
stroking my arms and breasts, and attempting to kiss me).  During this
second visit Ernie contacted the company he intended to use as his
“front”, this was Kapitol Estates, which Tony had told me was run by
his friend “David”.  I later found out this company was in Finchley.  A
few days after this second visit, I received a fax, stating the
contract was now void.  When Ernie phoned me later, I told him his
services would not be required, one of my reasons being that I could
not trust him to “keep his hands to himself”.  

 Some weeks later, in late October, I received a telephone call from
Tony, saying he regretted what had happened and that he would like to
see me.  I told him that he knew where I was, and it was up to him. 
Within minutes he was at my door. I was already expecting my friend,
Wendy, and her daughter to visit.  We had a brief conversation, when he
asked how the house sale was going and I said that I had a buyer. 
Wendy then arrived and I was surprised when Tony stayed to meet her. 
She engaged Tony in conversation and suggested that he joined the three
of us on our proposed visit to Alton Towers.  After Wendy had taken her
daughter home, Tony told me that he was ready to divorce and, while we
had been apart, he realised how much he missed me.  Our relationship
started again at that time.  Tony was persuaded to drive us to Alton
Towers.  During the journey there, he received a telephone call from a
friend identified as Abbey.  I spoke to this chap for a short time. 
Later I asked what Abbey’s surname was, and was told “Lincoln”.  On our
way home, as we drove through north London, Tony pointed out Kapitol
Estates, saying it belonged to his friend, David.  

Tony told me his wife was making life unbearable and had asked for a
divorce.  He then said he was going to have to find the money to pay
her to leave the house, as she had put an extensive amount of money in
to the property, although he was the owner.  He also indicated to me
his business was not doing well, it was short of funds, that he did not
want to continue with property management, and he was considering
moving his office back into his house or even closing the Company down.
 He then began to discuss the idea of moving to the USA again, and
asked if I would like to go with him.  I mentioned Green Cards and he
said these were no problem to get.  We agreed that it was probably best
to go to the USA for a few weeks holiday, to see if we thought it was a
feasible move.  He also said that he wanted me to live with him,
wherever we were, and that his house was safe, as he had a pre-nuptial
agreement with his wife regarding this, so we would have that house to
live in whatever happened.  We did discuss the possibility of my buying
into the house, which would give me an asset and Tony the capital he
required.  At first he did not like the idea, but later thought it was
not a bad idea,  He told me that on a few occasions that, mainly during
weekends, when he and his wife were arguing, the neighbours had called
the police out to the house.  During the first few days of November
Tony told me that he was going to the naming ceremony for his sister’s
baby daughter.  I asked where the sister lived.  At first I was told
Deptford, but in later conversation I was told “just by Camberwell”.  I
do not know the sister’s name.  Tony then told me that he desperately
wanted to get away from the house, as a temporary measure, and wanted
to visit his elderly father in Nigeria.  He had become increasingly
despairing when talking about his home life and really did seem upset
by everything.  Apparently the father required an operation and there
was some problem with land that the family owned.  I agreed to lend
Tony the money for the air fare (which I paid for by Visa on 10th
November at East to West Travel in Denmark Street, WC2) and I also lent
him £1,000 (from my Company account, the cheque being payable to Uptown
Gold’s account) which he said would cover the operation and the legal
fees for the land dispute.  I told him that, as I was closing my
Company down, I would need the £1,000.00 returning before the end of
February.  The ticket was to travel out on the Saturday following 10th
November, and had a fixed return date of three weeks.  While Tony was
away, he asked me to put down all my thoughts on us, whether I wanted
to go to the States, etc.  As the subject of us living together had
been broached a number of times, Tony also wanted to know how I felt
about adopting children, as I am unable to have children myself.  

When Tony returned from Nigeria, earlier than expected (he said a
friend had paid the excess administration fees) he said he was giving
up the office in Clapham and moving the equipment to his home.  He then
asked what I wanted to do, go to the States or not.  I said that, on
the whole, I preferred to stay in Britain, but would go to the USA, if
that was what he wanted to do.  He said that he was pleased as he had
changed his mind, but still wanted us to go on holiday, saying he
wanted to visit friends, during February, in Atlanta.  He also said
that the next time he went to Nigeria, he wanted me to go with him, we
even discussed the timing for me to have the necessary injections.  At
one point he even broached the idea of us marrying, but I said that as
he was not even divorced, this was certainly too soon to make a
decision like that.  During the first few days of Tony’s return from
Nigeria, he said he was packing his office equipment and moving it to
his house.  He then gave me his home office number (0181 880 9096,
which became unavailable around 21st January 1999).  He also began to
look for work, as he said he needed a steady income while making
decisions on what to do next with the business.  I even accompanied him
to one or two interview venues.  Tony also called his friend in
Atlanta, from my home telephone using some sort of card which meant
that I would not be charged for the call, saying he wanted to visit,
probably in February, with his girlfriend.  I assumed he was referring
to me as I was sitting with him at the time.  My house sale was being
finalised and contracts were exchanged in early December.  Tony told me
that his divorce was nearly finalised, he just needed to find the money
to pay his wife before she would sign the papers.  He thought that this
would be fairly soon, and said how much he was looking forward to my
moving in with him.  Tony quickly found employment, he said, as a
trainee manager with MacDonald’s, and was assigned to Oxford Street 2
(near the Oxford Circus Marks and Spencer branch).  My house sale then
came up for completion on 18th December, and Tony’s induction to
MacDonald’s was over the previous weekend, 12th and 13th December.  He
showed me his work manuals, uniform, etc., and once he had started
there, went into great detail about how the food was stored, prepared,
acceptable storing times, and so on.  On 16th December I moved from my
house to stay, as a temporary measure, with my brother in Tunbridge
Wells.  I continued to travel up to central London to meet Tony.  He
constantly talked about his training at MacDonald’s.  

Tony continued to talk about how fed up he was with his wife’s constant
arguing, fighting and shouting.  He again told me that he could not
wait to get her out of his house and again asked if I definitely wanted
to live with him, once the divorce was settled.  I believed Tony’s
claim that the divorce was going through quickly “by mutual agreement”
and that Tony’s wife, Tina, would be leaving for Austria immediately
the papers were signed.  However, as there was no money to pay Tina the
amount Tony said he owed, she would not leave, although she had, he
said, handed her notice in at work.  We also discussed what I intended
to do.  I had not been working for any employer, other than my own
Company, which was (and still is) in the process of being closed down. 
Tony said that, as I would be moving in with him very soon, I should
wait and look for employment in Wood Green.  He even went as far as to
suggest that, as long as I could bring about £500.00 into the house
every month, I did not need to work full-time, as this would mean we
could have more time together around Tony’s shift work.  Some time
between our relationship starting again, and my moving from my house,
Tony did ask that, should he ever do “ something really terrible” to
me, would I take my life.  As I did not foresee what was going to
happen, and assumed he meant arguments, possibly affairs, I said of
course not.

We did not see each other, or speak to each other over the Christmas
break.  I tried to contact Tony, but his mobile telephone was switched
off and there was no reply from the home office number.   However,
after the Bank Holiday, he contacted me in a very agitated state,
saying that the Christmas period had been a nightmare and that his
mother-in-law was now coming over from Austria, and that Tina was
packing everything in sight, including his gardening equipment - he
always maintained that his wife did not even use the garden.  He was
quite frantic about getting the divorce over with quickly and said that
he could not get a loan to pay his wife.  He told me he needed in
excess of £37,500.00 in order to pay her and his mother-in-law the
money they had put into the house.  I had no reason to disbelieve any
of this, I have witness several divorces and seen how relationships
deteriorate.  The only thing I found odd was Tony’s assertion that his
wife could not return to Austria until she had changed all of her
personal papers back to her maiden name of Gleihs, having been using
either Egbowon or Egbowon-Gleihs.  As my house had been sold, Tony was
quite aware that I had capital.  He visited me at Tunbridge Wells, with
his friend Abbey (it was the first time I met this person) and, on this
occasion, borrowed £100.00 in cash, saying it was to pay for a season
ticket in order to get to work.  Within days he then telephoned me in a
terrible state and persuaded me to lend him £38,000.00 in order to pay
his wife to leave.  He said that if the money were presented to her,
she had no option but to leave within days.  I agreed to lend him the
money, only as I believed it was to have his wife leave and allow me to
move into the house, and also only on the assurance that he would
either be putting my name on the deeds of the house, or, as soon as it
was possible, he would take out a mortgage to repay me.  Either way,
Tony said I would be moving into his house within days.  I would not
have made the loan without some sort of agreement, and it was only made
in the belief that I would be moving into Tony’s house.  Tony gave the
bank details, he claimed was for his solicitor’s client account and, on
Monday 4th January 1999, I went to the Co-operative Bank in Croydon to
make a CHAPS transfer.  The details Tony gave me also included a
telephone number for the person, Dr Solomon Odusanya, whom he said was
the solicitor.  The details for the account were Dr Solomon Odusanya,
Nat West Kingsland Branch, sort code 60-12-18, account number 61768685,
and marked Ref.  Anthony Adeniyi Egbowon.  Once I had made the transfer
I telephoned the person I believed to be Dr Solomon Odusanya, and asked
that he furnish me with a receipt, which he agreed to do.  I did not
think to keep the paper with the details of the account and telephone
number for reference. Later Tony told me that his solicitor did not
want to issue a receipt to me and had suggested we should draw up an
agreement between ourselves.  I did not doubt Tony at all, he had my
complete trust.  Tony then said I should visit his house, which up
until then I had never been to, to see if I liked it and make sure I
wanted to live there and whether I preferred the idea of a 50% share or
him taking out a mortgage.   He even suggested that if there was
anything I disliked, we could redecorate, and if I really hated it, we
could always move.  When I got to the house, there were photographs
everywhere of Tony and the woman he had previously identified as his
wife, Tina, both individually and many of them together.  During the
visit Tony wanted sex, I told him I was not comfortable with this as it
was still his wife’s home.  He became increasingly agitated with me
saying “it’s my house, for God’s sake, it’s my house”.  I also
discussed with him the subject of his friend, Ernie, as I would not be
comfortable if Ernie were to visit whilst Tony was not there, having
previously told Tony of Ernie’s ‘overtures’ to me.  Tony told me that
Ernie never visited unless invited.  He then mentioned that Ernie was
now working with David, at Kapitol Estates.  I looked around the house
and garden, Tony made a lot of comments about how good the garden would
look once my furniture, ornaments and container plants were in it, and
how we could alter the garden.  He said how pleased he was to have
found someone who enjoyed gardening, and how ‘“pretty” we could make
the place look.  He also asked which items of my furniture I wanted to
bring, as he thought that all of my possessions would not fit in the
house.  I then left the house, before his wife returned from work.  

Tony next told me that he and his wife were to visit his solicitor’s
office in Camberwell, on 8th January, in order to sign the divorce
papers and hand over the money.  However, on that day he told me this
had not been accomplished as the solicitor had furnished him with the
wrong account details and, as the signatory for that account was not
available, the money could not be transferred within the firm’s
accounts.  I did not feel this could be correct, but as Tony was in
such a state, I did not pursue the matter other than to say I thought
it ridiculous.  Within these few days, Tony’s mobile phone became
unobtainable.  He said this was because Ernie, who had the partners
phone, had not paid the bill and so both telephones were temporarily
suspended.  I know little about mobile telephones and so had no reason
to dispute this.  Tony and I next met on Sunday 10th January, when we
went to a hotel in Finsbury Park for the night.  He presented me with
an agreement he had drawn up, dated 4th January, on Uptown Gold headed
paper.  I think it was at this point that I realised that Tony’s first
name was Adeniyi, rather than Anthony.  I believe he showed me his
driving licence to confirm this.  I was not happy with the agreement,
as my name was misspelt and he had used my old address, rather than
where I was then living.  Tony said he would draw up a new agreement,
with the correct details, but in the meantime we each signed copies of
the agreement to hand.  A few days later Tony told me that he and his
wife were going to the solicitor again, on Friday 15th January, in
order to sign the documents and hand over the money.  By this time he
said that his mother-in-law had arrived and things were at an all time
low.  He said I would be horrified at how empty the house was, his wife
had packed almost everything, and even tried to take his office
equipment.  He said he could only bear it as it would be over within
days,  and both the mother-in-law and Tina were booked to leave on
Sunday 17th January, for Vienna.  He seemed very distressed, claiming
racist abuse and attacks.  Tony asked me to travel up to London over
the coming weekend (16th and 17th January) to see him, however, as I
was suffering with a heavy cold and sore throat, I refused.  Tony said
he was disappointed, but understood.  He said he would phone later that
day, and on Saturday, be did not call me until the Sunday evening.  He
said that he had been too upset to speak to anyone over the weekend,
the divorce papers still had not been finalised, as the money was still
in the wrong account, and his wife and mother-in-law had refused to
leave.  He asked if I could make another loan, when I said I did not
have another £38,000.00 he asked if there was £37,000.00, as this was
acceptable.  I was still feeling very ill, but as Tony was so
distressed, I agreed to travel up to Wood Green to meet him.  During
this telephone call he also said that his wife had taken almost all of
the furniture, and I could now bring all of my furniture.  He even made
a comment about “regrettably, even your bed”, which was an item he
disliked for some reason.  He said that if I made the loan on the
Monday, 18th January, then his wife and mother-in-law would have to
leave straight away, and in fact I could move in that night, so I
should bring an overnight bag with me.  I agreed, under some duress, to
make this loan, again on the understanding it was to pay his wife to
leave and enable me to move in with him, that this money would be
repaid and that my previous loan of £38,000.00 was being transferred
back to my account (which was to be done within the next few days). He
then said that his wife had even packed his television, and if I were
going to be at his house that night, I would be spending the evening
alone, as he had to go to work at MacDonald’s, and could we get my
television out of storage.  I travelled to Wood Green to meet Tony on
Monday  18th January, as arranged. Tony collected me, with his friend
Abbey, at Wood Green tube station, using Abbey’s car.  We drove back to
the shopping centre and Tony and I went to the Co-operative Bank there.
 I obtained a banker’s draft in respect of a Mr A.R.Dada, having got
Tony to check that this would be okay.  The bank noticed that my home
address for my account had not been updated since I had moved.  As I
was giving the details for the Tunbridge Wells address, Tony said it
was daft, as I would be changing it again within days to his address. 
We then left the bank, and Tony went with Abbey, saying he was going to
the solicitor’s and asked me to phone him, on Abbey’s mobile phone, at
about 3.00pm.  When I did call, I was told to meet him again at Wood
Green, the banker’s draft had been refused and he needed me to make
another CHAPS transfer.  We met again at Wood Green, and after “words”
we went back to the bank in order to make the transfer to Mr A.R.Dada,
Abbey National Bank, sort code 09-01-16, account no. 42569162, marked
Ref.  Adeniyi Anthony Egbowon.  It was, by this time, too late for the
bank to action the transfer that day.  Whilst waiting in the bank, Tony
showed me the back of his passport, whether it was Austrian or Nigerian
I do not know, with a Home Office stamp stating he had leave to remain
in the country as spouse of Martina Egbowon, an EC national.  He made a
comment about how much of a liar he was, with reference to this stamp,
but I had no idea what he meant and he did not elaborate.  Once we had
completed the paperwork in the bank Tony just kept thanking me, and
saying how he would make it up to me.  He assured me that the first
loan was definitely on its way back to my account and would be there no
later than Friday, which would have been 22nd January.  We met Abbey
again outside the shopping centre and, as I could not move in that day,
Abbey drove us down to Charing Cross station, Tony saying he was too
upset to drive.  While travelling Tony noticed a poster advertising a
talk by a person known as “Mr Nice”, he had been reading this persons
autobiography the previous week, and he asked me if I would like to go
the following weekend.  As I was still unwell, I was not enthusiastic
but, in hindsight, this reassured me that we would be together, or at
least seeing each other, the next weekend.  Also, Tony did ask if we
could go and get my television from storage anyway, but I refused to
allow this on the basis that if his television had been taken by his
wife, what was to stop her taking mine as well.  Tony seemed a little
disappointed, but accepted this.  Both Tony and Abbey came into the
station with me, but as the car had been left on a meter, they left
after about ten minutes.  

On the morning of Tuesday, 19th January, I called Abbey’s number to see
if I could speak to Tony but he was not with Abbey.  I was then
notified by the bank that the transfer had been made and soon
afterwards Tony called me, to say the money had arrived in his
solicitor’s account,  He said he was so happy and excited as “it was
over” and that we would now be together and he couldn’t wait for me to
move in.  I did think that this was rather gushing, but as he had been
under such strain, and had passed a lot of that stress onto me during
the previous weeks leaving me feeling rather oversensitive, I took it
to be unimportant.  Tony called again during the evening and that he
would borrow Abbey’s car and collect me on Thursday, as his wife and
mother-in-law would be leaving that day.  He also said that he was
going back to work, having taken two days off with the stress.  I asked
if he realised what kind of stress he had put me through, and that I
was finding it difficult not to worry about the fact that he had taken
all of my money.  He asked me to have faith and patience, and that the
original loan was on its way back, definitely, and that we could really
talk about things in a couple of days, when we were together, but he
did not want to discuss things over the telephone.  

On the Wednesday evening, 20th January, Tony called again.  He said
that plans had changed and he would not now be able to collect me until
Friday evening.  He would not elaborate on what had changed, but said
he would call tomorrow (Thursday) to let me know approximately what
time he would be coming to fetch me..  

On Thursday evening Tony did attempt to call me  My brother was already
on a call when he came through on ‘call waiting’, shortly after 9.00pm,
and my brother asked him to call back.  He said he would do so, but did
not call again.

When I heard nothing at all on Friday, I began to worry.  I tried to
telephone the home office number, never having had the domestic
telephone  number, and found a message saying the number was not
available.  On Saturday I was very worried and telephoned Tony’s friend
Abbey, as he was the only person for whom I had a telephone number. 
Abbey said he had not heard from Tony since he had last seen me.  I
knew this was not right, as Tony had been with Abbey when he called me
on the Tuesday, but thought that Abbey may have mistaken the day. 
Abbey suggested that, if I had Tony’s address, I should go to the house
and see what was wrong.  On Sunday 24th January, I wrote a letter to
Tony, stating the monies I had lent him, which totalled £76,500.00, and
saying that if he did not get in touch by midday on Tuesday 26th
January, I would take legal action against him.  Firstly I went to
MacDonald’s, as I had been led to believe he would be working on the
Sunday.  I was told by staff there, that he had not attended for about
two weeks.  At that point I knew that things were not as I had been led
to believe, and realised that Tony must have been lying for some time. 
Then I travelled up to 132 White Hart Lane.  The door was answered by
the woman I recognised as Tony’s wife, Tina.  She wanted to know who I
was, but did ask if I wanted to “come in”, to which I said “no”.  I
said I had lent Tony money and I wanted to know when he intended to pay
me back.  She seemed surprised, though only a little, that I had lent
Tony money.  She said he did not live there anymore.  I asked  her when
he had moved out.  She said “on Thursday”  and said she could show me a
letter.  I asked to see the letter,  She again asked who I was, then
refused to show me the letter.  She said all that she knew was that
Tony had paid her “carriage” and “paid his carriage and left”, she did
not know where, she added that she would be leaving also, but did not
say where she was going.  I asked if she meant Tony  had left the
country, and she said she thought he had.  I was bewildered by the fact
that Tony had, apparently, been a cheat, I said I would leave my letter
with her, which she began to open as I walked away.  She also called
after me “Who are you?  Have you been with him?”  I said “What do you
think?” and carried on walking.  

I tried to phone Abbey, but only got his mobile’s voice message.  I
then went to visit a friend, with whom I had business, and told him
what had happened.  He did not come up with any ideas, and after a
couple of hours, I continued my journey home, via Charing Cross
station.  From Charing Cross I telephoned Abbey again, this time I
spoke to him and told him what had happened, asking if he knew anything
about it.  He said he did not.  I then asked if he knew how much money
Tony had borrowed, and when I told him, he did seem appalled.  He said
he would ask around, and I should call him back after about 6.00pm. 
When I spoke to Abbey again, from Tunbridge Wells, he said he had seen
another of he and Tony’s mutual friends, who said that he had seen Tony
on Friday, and Tony had said he was leaving for Nigeria, apparently for
good, then and there.  Abbey then asked me for Tony’s home address,
saying that he did not have this.  I thought that odd, but Abbey said
that he had always visited Tony, in the six months since he had met
him, at the Battersea office, or at other friend’s homes and offices. 
It was really after this that I became distressed, realising just how
many lies Tony had probably told me in order to deceive me into
thinking that I was only loaning him my capital for a short period, and
that his intentions were to actually steal it.  I told my brother what
had happened and he insisted I call the local police (Kent
Constabulary), which I did.

* The last time I saw Tony was on Monday 18th January, 1999.
* The last time I spoke to him was on Wednesday 20th January, 1999.
* His last attempt to contact me was on Thursday 21st January, 1999.
* I never received the amended loan agreement.
* The original loan of £38,000.00 was not in my account on the Friday
(22nd January) as I had been assured by Tony, and has not been credited
to date, 28th January 1999.
* Tony never repaid either earlier loan, made in November, for the
ticket to Nigeria, nor the £1,000.00.

I no longer believe that Tony ever intended to divorce, nor did he ever
intend for he and I to live together.  I believe now that he had always
been deceiving me, with the purpose of dishonestly obtaining my money,
by any method he could

The only helpful information I can give follows:

Tony’s ex-colleague, and childhood friend, Ernie (also known as Enny, I
do not have a family name for him) is supposed to be working for
another of Tony’s friends, David, at Kapitol Estates in Finchley.

Tony said that when he and Tina arrived in Britain, they lived in
rented property on the Broadwater Farm Estate.  He also told me that he
had a current housing application for a flat, intending to sub-let this
until he could fetch his younger brother over from Nigeria.  If this is
true, then the application may be with Harringey Council.

Tony claimed to have been studying in Vienna and had lived there for
about ten years, until coming to Britain in 1997, and still had
business contacts there.  He also said that he had been married
previously, to another Austrian woman. 

Tony was dealing with the Green Card Lottery, through his Company,
during August and September 1998.  He also said that his friend David
(at Kapitol Estates) was also dealing with this Lottery.  It is
possible that he obtained a Green Card for himself, and possibly also
for his wife.  He claimed to have friends in Atlanta, and had promised
me that we would visit them.

I was never given Tony’s domestic telephone number.  I believe it to
have been a cable service.  I know that he claimed to have made and
received lots of calls from the USA, Nigeria and Austria on this line. 
If he used the domestic line to call me, then the number was always
withheld, I assume so that I could not call his wife.  

The contact telephone number I have for Abbey is 07957 907334.  After a
while I had doubts about Abbeys story.  On Monday 18th January, when he
picked Tony up, to meet me, I was told they were both subjected  to
racial abuse from both Tony’s wife and mother-in-law.  As Abbey later
claimed he had not been to Tony’s house, I wondered where else this
incident could have taken place.

Tony claimed to be some sort of minor prince, by his mother’s family. 
She apparently died in May 1998, aged 54, from diabetic complications. 
Tony said that the funeral entourage was over 1000 people.  I can only
say this took place in Nigeria.  Tony’s father is in his late sixties
and lives in Nigeria, as do his eldest and youngest brothers.  Another
brother, married to a Yugoslavian woman, is supposed to live in Vienna.
Tony claimed to have several uncles working for the UN in Brussels.

Between October and early January, Tony claimed to have been visiting a
friend in an immigration detention centre in either Rochester or
Chatham.  Tony said that he needed around £5,000.00 to get his friend
released.  Although I was never directly asked for this money, I sensed
he wanted me to make the loan.  I never discussed the matter further.

At 132 White Hart Lane, there were many photographs of both Tony and
Tina.  I have since been told that, if Tony really was on the Trainee
Managers programme at MacDonald’s, then they would have a photograph of

Tony claimed that his wife, Tina, was the step-daughter of a
millionaire, and the family were threatening to “cut her out of the
Will”, if she did not leave him.  He also claimed that an aunt of
Tina’s was supposed to own the biggest theme park in Austria.  Tina’s
family also apparently own properties throughout the Canary Islands. 
As Tina was, according to Tony, born in Australia, rather than Austria,
I do not know if the maiden name used is that of her birth, or her

I was told by Tony that he was going to transfer his bank account from
LLOYD’S, which was several weeks ago, to a new bank.  Whether this was
his personal account, or the Company account, I do not know.  When we
were in the Wood Green branch of the Co-operative bank he took papers
in order to open a new account with them.

Tony said he was regularly visiting the Health Centre, opposite his
house.  He also said he was a member of BUPA.

I was told that he had a conviction for Fraud, apparently for misuse of
a Road Fund Licence.  I did not, at the time, think this was
particularly significant.

After Tony had completed the induction course at MacDonald’s, he
claimed to have been offered another post, with London Underground.

* Tony gave his date of birth as 18th October, 1965, making him 33.
* He is between 6’ and 6’2” tall, and is slightly overweight.  He has a
shaven head, mainly due to a receding hairline, a flat, angular nose, a
pencil moustache.  His upper left front tooth is discoloured (brown)
and the teeth behind are slightly crooked.  His walk is slightly
stooped and he turns his feet out at an angle.  He does not have a deep
voice but it is heavily accented.
* He had two small vertical scars on his cheeks, these apparently mark
him as Yoruba.  His back is covered with short horizontal scars, mainly
on his right side, these were, he said, ‘witchcraft’ scars, some sort
of ritual protection.

419 Coalition Note:  If you have any additional helpful information on
Tony Egbowon, please email it to

26 MAR 1999
This sent in by a Concerned Nigerian:

		Nigeria Vows To Eradicate Advance Fee Fraud
				March 25, 1999

LAGOS, Nigeria (PANA) - The Nigerian inspector-general of Police, Alhaji 
Ibrahim Coomassie, has expressed government's committed to the eradication 
of advance fee fraud and other criminal acts in the country.

He told the second West African fraud meeting in Abuja Wednesday that the 
fraud was one of the most notorious economic crimes prevalent in the world

According to him, the fraud is usually perpetrated through a conspiracy 
between some dubious Nigerians and gullible foreigners.

Coomassie said that a joint operation now existed between Nigeria and the 
United States law enforcement agents to combat the menace. 

He noted that more than 40 cases involving over 125 suspects were before
the special tribunal established for such offences under the Advance Fee
Fraud Decree of 1995. 

Nigeria's attorney-general and minister of justice, Alhaji Abdullahi
Ibrahim, said "the crime of advance fee fraud should be considered a
challenge that 
can be eradicated with greater efforts."

The meeting attracted police chiefs from over 30 countries. 

	Copyright © 1999 P.M. News. Distributed via Africa News

419 Coalition Comment:  To which we say that anything GOV of Nigeria
does would be much appreciated, but what we want to know of Inspector
Coomassie ( the same man who hassled Walter Carrington, former US
Ambassador to Nigeria who was actually trying to get something Done
about 419 ) is   :)  :)  Where's the Money?  When will it be returned?  
Where's the Money?  When will it be returned?  :)  :)  That IS, after 
all, the crux of the matter, Inspector.  While we appreciate any and 
all actions of the Nigerian Government in this matter, bottom line is 
Talk is Cheap  - we've been hearing it for years and years, now 

26 MAR 1999
This letter from an American woman who unwittingly married a 419er,
was 419ed, and who has appealed to Justuce Fati Abubakar, Nigeria's
First Lady, for Justice was published in This Day, one of the major
newspapers in Nigeria on 18 MAR and other newspapers there are
reportedly showing interest in this story.  We have reprinted the 
appeal to Fati Abubakar verbatim, in full, below:

Her Excellency the First Lady
The Honourable Justice Fati Abubakar
Presidential Villa
Aso Rock

7 January 1999
Dear Justice Abubakar,
You, as the First Lady of Nigeria and as a High Court Justice, have the
knowledge and wisdom to further the cause of justice. I humbly request your
help in a criminal matter of fraud, in which I am a victim. At least six
Nigerian Newspapers have covered the case since it was broken on 12 June
1998 by National Concord (1).  I married the son of a First Class Igbo Chief
in New York in the belief that I had found an honourable man with whom I
could share the rest of my life.  It is clear now that the marriage was a
prelude in the grand design to defraud me of all that I have worked for.
His brother and sister joined with him to lure me into investing in a series
of transactions that were apparently designed to improve our common lot.
This entailed exporting cars from the U.S. to Nigeria to sell for profit and
using my “husbands” sister’s contact with the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum
to acquire favor to execute oil transactions.  Needless to say the whole
thing was an elaborate scam that has devastated me and nearly destroyed my

The marriage has been annulled on the grounds of fraud (2).  To this day I
do not know the age or real name of the man who married me.  Much
information has been revealed since he defrauded me.  He used seven
different names for different reasons.  One of his passports reads, “Moses
Ituludiegwu Agwuna” but he worked in the United States of America under
paperwork listing him as “Prince Chaka Agwuna”.  His brother, who told me
his name was Chukwudi Agwuna, also used the identity in the U.S.A. of Prince
Chaka Agwuna.  Chukwudi Agwuna also married an American woman, whom he has
since abandoned.  He has never granted her a divorce and has since married
one Nnenna Okpe in Ikeja, Lagos.
Chukwudi and Moses abandoned the New York apartment they had shared, and a
search of that apartment uncovered blank copies of Nigerian Birth and Death
Certificates as well as letterhead from a Hospital in Lagos. They also had
filled in a set of these documents with the name and all the requisite
details to fabricate a birth and death.  They tried to authenticate these
forged records with actual rubber stamps that were found with the documents
(3).  Also there was a letter stamped and sealed with Igwe Osita Agwuna’s
name and title explaining that the person on the forged Nigerian documents
was his son and died as a result of a murder (4).  Also there was a forged
letter on the hospital’s letterhead explaining the medical reasons for the
death and it was stamped with an official rubber stamp from the hospital.
       Champion - Aug. 1998
       Weekend Concord – 12 Dec. 1998
       National Encomium – 15 Dec. 1998
       This Day – 21 Dec. 1998
       Guardian – 28 Dec. 1998
       The Punch – Jan. 1999

(2), (3) & (4)
       See attached

 I reported this case to the Presidential Task Force on Financial Crimes on
23 March 1998 and turned over all of the evidence to them. They arrested and
later released on bail, the “419 husband”.  After the initial recovery of
some 10 percent, it appears that the criminal brought his father to the Task
Force to get him released as a free man unencumbered from the restrictions
of bail.  The Agwuna family still holds over 270,000 stolen dollars and yet
the son of Igwe Osita Agwuna III of Enugwu Ukwu, is still freely spending
that money as he recently bought and paid for an airline ticket that took
him to London.  He had always said that his father was so powerful in
Nigeria that he could get anyone out of jail.  After receiving a phone call
from him in England in November of 1998, I realized the irony in his claims
about his father’s influence. I had thought that the role the Igwe had
played in freeing Nigeria from the clutches of British oppression would have
made him the type of man that would have been exerting his influence to help
free only the innocent and the oppressed. According to the Igwe’s
autobiographical account of his role in fighting to end Colonial Oppression,
he was sentenced for sedition and subsequently jailed.  Now that, if it’s
true, is the act of a National Hero.  But I am dumbfounded to learn, that
the so-called National Hero, who welcomed me into the fold of his family
over the telephone after marrying his son in New York, has never even
feigned a gesture of decency toward me during or after this ruthless act of
419 has been carried out by his family.
I sent this so-called “Hero” countless letters either by DHL or hand
delivered through an attorney and Reverend Minister in Enugu.  At first
asking for his help but with each passing week and month that he refused to
respond, I pleaded and beseeched him to step in and stop the criminal
actions of his children (5).  He has consistently remained silent toward
me…. but he has spoken loud and clearly to the Task Force, convincing them
to drop the bail on his son. Through contacts made through the U.S. Embassy,
I learned that the Igwe was enjoying the cars last year that had been stolen
from me, and telling people that they were gifts to him from Abacha.  What
could debase a man and father to this level of thievery who once waged a
moral war against the British Oppressors?   How can someone with his
intensely personal experiences of being oppressed, throw away his honor and
reputation (if his autobiography is true) by the systematic and contrived
plan of evil and oppression he is helping to carry out by shielding his
children and keeping stolen loot.  He has chosen the wrong person to
oppress.  My heritage and my blood line has been deeply affected by
oppression and exploitation such as in Ireland, where the English sanctioned
The Great Hunger and entire villages of my ancestors starved to death.
Although I have never faced starvation and I have always been able to find
gainful employment, I do know what it is to learn sobering lessons from my
parents that are the legacy of great suffering.  Mr. Agwuna did not have to
join in this plan to steal from me; I would have gladly shared anything I
had with him as a person who at one time (I had been conned into believing)
was a hero who helped free his own people from the shackles of British
oppression.    I had seen him as a courageous role model before I learned
the truth about him.   I would have been an asset to his family, but instead
I am someone that they have “thrown on the side of the road” after
committing the act of robbery.

(5)  See attached

I’ve read about your accomplishments and your intelligence as you’ve earned
your place in the High Courts of Nigeria.  I understand the proud feelings
that Nigerian people can take in having a woman in Aso Rock that they can
look up to.  Although there are people in far greater need than me that
could be asking for help, I still believe that allowing these criminals to
walk freely after committing this crime would be sufficiently regrettable.
I’ve witnessed the maltreatment of hard-working and decent Nigerians who are
harassed for no reason other than that they are Nigerian.  My attorney in
Lagos was treated like a criminal by the notary at the U.S. Embassy during
the summer of 1998 when he was getting documents notarized on my behalf.
Letting these criminals walk freely will only further endorse unfair and
rude treatment to other honest Nigerians, not to mention the message it
sends to the International business community.
I fiercely defended this Nigerian family that I “married” into.  My family
and many friends abandoned me, saying,  “Nigerians are thieves”.  I was
deeply offended by their statements.  I cast away one of my longest standing
friends for having what I called prejudiced and preconceived hostile
attitudes towards Nigerians and, most importantly, toward the man I was
intending to share the rest of my life with.  But where do I stand now?  The
main criminal whose bail was rescinded is now inexplicably free in a foreign
country.  The Courts of New York in the United States, where the marriage
took place, have wiped the marriage off the records by annulling it on the
grounds of Fraud. But I am feeling like a fool for having trusted and loved
a Nigerian, because even after making two trips to Nigeria and fully
cooperating with the PTFFC for a full eight months, the Agwuna family seems
relatively unscathed.  Maybe that is why people that know them here in
Nigeria call them “Mafia”.
The Igwe Osita Agwuna, Eze Enugwu Ukwu, Igwe Umunri, Chairman of Anambra
State Council for Arts and Culture and (finally) Executive President of
Enugwu Ukwu Traditional Authority STILL has not addressed so much as one
word to me in response to my numerous pleas.  It seems clear he must be
addressing A LOT of other people to keep his crooked children shielded from

Uchenna Agwuna, who told me she is a personal friend of the Nigerian
Petroleum Minister, and who compelled me to buy for her and the Minister of
Petroleum $30,000 worth of gold and diamond watches, has NEVER been
arrested.  She has never returned the stolen goods or money.  She has
slandered my name in an issue of “This Day”, but since then, she has run
from the Police when they have attempted to catch her.   In the 21 Dec. 1998
"This Day" article, she claims that a car agent that was to import the cars
stole the cars that I shipped and that the cars  "disappeared somewhere in
Brazil".   Uchenna has convicted herself with her own tongue as she is the
person on record as the consignee of the cars (6) and many people in Lagos
and Anambra State saw all of the cars either parked in Igwe Osita Agwuna
compound OR in various car lots in Lagos.  In addition, her own brother
confessed to the PTFFC that Uchenna Agwuna and Chukwudi Agwuna were the
master minds behind this scheme and he told the PTFFC amounts that he sold
the cars for or where they were located if not sold.  And in many tape
recorded conversations with Chukwudi, his wife Nnenna and Uchenna, ALL OF
compound A.K.A. Obu Ofo Nri Palace.

After learning that the PTFFC had dropped the bail charges on the main
criminal, my Embassy assisted me in making an appeal to The Special Fraud
Unit of the Nigerian Police.  Police Commissioner Waziri and Superintendent
of Police Otitoju, have made a brilliant and powerful start to this
investigation.   But they have been handed a case file that some describe as
“murdered”.  As a High Court Justice, do you know why the PTFFC would drop
bail on a known and confessed criminal?  This criminal has not returned so
much as one Kobo of the stolen money in close to one year to me, the victim,
but he is still using the stolen money to buy himself airline tickets to

(6)  See Attached
This crime has torn my life apart and I humbly plead for your help.  I have
spoken with the Special Advisor to the Head of State on Financial Crimes and
Drugs and he has agreed to meet with me in the near future to try to find
solutions.   I would like to suggest that of any funds that I recover, a
percentage of the proceeds would be used in a fund to help the most poverty
stricken of our brethren.  Nigerians have told me about your work to
establish charitable organizations and I know that you would be the person
who could best channel a donation.   I’ve read and heard about your
charitable work and like so many around the world watching you and your
husband forge a bridge to the future, I have the deepest admiration for you.
One journalist recently wrote about you and elaborated on the fundamental
reasons that your role as the partner of the Head of State is one of the
keys to the success of the Government today.  And that the success of future
Presidencies can be predicted by the caliber of the person married to the
Head of State.  I will be praying for the elections to yield victory for
leaders that are able to follow in the upright footsteps of you and the
President.  And I thank you for reading this letter and for whatever you can
do to help me, even if it is simply advice and sympathy.  May God bless and
empower you in all ways especially in your service to Nigeria.
Siobhan O’Donnell

419 Coalition Note:  If you can be of assistance to Ms. O'Donnell in this 
matter, her email is  .  Also please look at our 
Latest News article of 15 FEB 1999 below for more information on this

23 MAR 1999
The 3 MAR 1999 Loudoun Easterner ( VA ) "In This Corner" column by 
John Geddie, page 3, has an amusing story of a Nigerian 419 attempt 
sent to his office.  After recounting the letter etc., Mr. Geddie says
of "Dr.  Babatunde Jose", his Scammer, "I would warn him that there 
is a  Federal Task Force assigned to such operations, not to mention 
a private organization with its own web site.  There is always a chance 
that these people would think that the Doctor was involved in a similar
[419] enterprise.  From personal experience I can tell you these people
have very little sense of humor on the subject."  

"For the benefit of the agent that will call here, yes, we have a copy of 
the letter.  Yes, we will send it in.  Yes, we understand the gravity of
the situation and that millions of dollars are involved... As for us, we 
decline the offer offer because we do not understand the secret instructions
[such as] you must persist when the telephone says 'subscriber not 
available' or 'the number does not exist'... Persisting makes my brain hurt..."
 :)  :) :)  :)

6 MAR 1999
This sent in by a victim of Black Currency 419

This message was sent by mass e-mail to various African Countries in Nov. '98
-----Original Message-----
From: Admin 
Date: Friday, March 05, 1999 12:54 PM

Attached is photo of one of Africa's scam artists in the BLACK MONEY SCAM.
He goes under the name of Anthony Obuke or Anthony Nzongo for recent crime.

Their latest victim is a Canadian Family Business whom they scammed out of
over $130,000 U.S. DOLLARS.

They ask the victim to assist them in leaving Ghana to a politically stable
country whereby they can invest cash left to them by their father who was
shot in Zaire War.
They claimed that they are the sons of General Nzongo (General of Mobutu)
from Zaire. They claimed they have cash in security house in Ghana but they
need these foreigners' financial assistant to clear the cash from security
house and since the cash was defaced for security reasons they needed a
bulk of foreign currency to buy the block chemical needed to wash the
money. They set themselves up as an international SAYUNG INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATION - Subsidiary to Petrochemical in Ghana and used the Oil
Refinery plant in Tema as their location. They actually went to the plant
to pick up the chemical (block chemical) in front of their victim.

Their regular meeting place was the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra.

They assumed the names  of Anthony & Thomas Obuke and a mother Judith for
security reasons while they are in Ghana but claimed their birth names are
Thomas & Anthony Nzongo. They claimed that their ages are: Thomas 30 yrs,
Anthony 26 yrs, and mother Judith 46yrs.

This ring of thieves have many people including Ghanaian nationals involved
in their ring. The crime has been reported to International Crime Agencies 

The Black Money Scam has been known to originate from Nigeria
but is occurring all over various African Countries.

Please make your viewers, communities, and listeners aware of this BLACK
MONEY SCAM in your region. Criminals do not just hurt themselves they
discredit an entire country.

Please post this photo to assist in catching this thief. Also pass this
e-mail on to your local police, army and immigration department so they can
post it on their borders

It is the belief that both Anthony and Thomas and many members of their
ring go to various African countries and set up their operations: Countries
these men have operated from are: Ghana, Cote D' Ivoire, Sierra Leone 
and Nigeria.

Some of the most recent mobile numbers they have assumed are:
027574064 Thomas
027572410 Anthony
027554348 Felix
027574327 Evans
They also operate from an E-mail under the name of
This Reality Star company has been notified and they have confirmed that
they have reported it to Ghana BNI. They also know who the criminals are. 

They have also used a communication center who knows them very well and act
as their personal receptionist. The name of center is BJs Comm Cen GH
Fax & Phone no is: 233-21-241-181

Anthony & Thomas were last seen in October/November '98 at these locations:
Miklin Hotel - East Legon, Accra 
Bayview Hotel - Legon Rd. Accra
Darold Hotel - Achimota, Accra North

A mass photo e-mail will be sent worldwide in an attempt to capture these
criminal. Any assistance your company/department can provide will be


Picture Attachment, Anthony Nzongo:

1 MAR 1999
This news piece sent in by a concerned Nigerian:

	Nigerians Held For Printing Fake Dollars In Ivory Coast
			February 26, 1999
			By Moses Uchendu

Lagos - Nigerian businessmen suspected to be international money
launderers, have been arrested and detained in Abdijan, capital of Ivory
Coast for being in possession of fake US dollars running into several

The Nigerians, according to a BBC report, were arrested last week in
central Abidjan, following a security tip off in the area after they were
trailed for several weeks for various financial crimes ranging from 419 to
money laundering.

The fraudsters numbering about 5 were said to be moving from one 5-star
hotel to another where they perpetuated different kinds of criminal
activities against their business colleagues, including Europeans and 
Asian businessmen.

The Nigerians were said to have been printing fake US dollars running
into several millions and had been using the fake dollars to transact
businesses only for their victims to discover later that the notes were
fake US dollars.

However, the fraudsters ran out of luck last week when a group of Ivorian
security agents who had been on their trail for weeks swung into action,
arresting five of them few metres away from their alleged base in Abidjan. 
The Nigerians were arrested with three briefcases, each containing
bundles of fake 100 dollar notes which ran into millions.

Ivorian top security officials who paraded the suspects before newsmen
in Abdijan said each of the three suitcases contained 8 million US dollars
which totalled about 24 million fake dollars. The report further said that
the set of Nigerians were one of the several groups of Nigerian fraudsters
who are on the wanted list of the Ivorian police for several financial
crimes and money related crimes within and outside Abidjan in recent months.

The Nigerians were paraded along with three other suspects, a Liberian
and two Sierra Leoneans who were accused of smuggling gold and other
precious stones into and outside Ivory Coast.

    Copyright © 1998 P.M. News. Distributed via Africa News Online

15 FEB 99
We received this today from an American who proposes to lead a delegation
of 419 Victims to Abuja to ask the GOV of Nigeria to make greater efforts in
fighting 419.  We post her note to us up verbatim, with permission, so that
any other victims who wish to join the Delegation can contact her to make the
necessary arrangements:

To Whom it May Concern;

I was told by the State Department to contact you for help.  I have been in
contact with the Secret Service, the US Embassy in Lagos, my local District
Attorney's office, the FBI and the State Department regarding a case of 419
in which I have been a victim.  Since no one was able to help me in this
country, I travelled to Lagos in March of 1998 and I reported my case to the
Presidential Task Force on Financial Crimes (PTFFC).   Within seven days of
landing in Lagos, the Task force arrested the main culprit and with the next
month they recovered roughly $40,000 of the $313,900 stolen from me.  I
received this money and they promised repeatedly to continue collecting as
much money as possible and then take the three criminals invovled to the
Military Tribunal to face charges.

I returned back in the States May 2, 1998 and kept in touch with the Task
Force through phone, fax and express courier.  I drafted a letter over the
summer of1998 requesting that Nigeria go ahead with the Tribunal as the
prospects of recovering the money seemed to grower dimmer each week.  I sent
this letter to the Chief of Army Staff, the Directorate of Military
Intelligence and to the Chairman of the PTFFC, Lt. Col. Hassan.   I'm sure
you won't be surprised to know that, not only did they not take the
criminals to the Tribunal, they rescinded the bail that they had taken on
the main criminal and he fled NIgeria.  He had the nerve to telephone me
from London in November 1998.

At this point I returned to Nigeria, and appealed to the PTFFC for answers.
When they gave me the brush, I cold called every major Newspaper that I
could throughout Lagos in the 2 weeks that I had to spend there.  Many of
them interviewed me and I showed them my thick file of evidence and told
them how the PTFFC had completely dropped my case and DROPPED the bail on a
known and confessed criminal.  Six major newspapers covered my story: This
Day, Guardian, National Concorde (and Weekend Concorde), National Encomium,
Champion and The Punch.  I would like to send you copies of these aticles if
you would like to see them and if you give me a mailing address.  Also, I
was approached by DBN Television Station and they interviewed me on camera
and aired it several times on television with a call-in segment for viewers.

My case may or may not be unusual in that I had met the main culprit in New
York (where I live), dated him and eventually we married.  I met many people
in the States who vouched for the family.  You see the father was one of the
freedom fighters for Nigeria back when they broke free from the British.  I
read about him in little books that were shown to me.  The father, it has
been confirmed was a freedom fighter and he is now what is considered a
First Class Chief.   It seems that the father is not without his connections
as he was the one that pressed the Task Force to drop the bail.

 The Courts in New York where we married have since annulled the marriage on
the grounds of fraud.   I am keeping up the pressure with the Nigerian Press
and have since made contacts with some major Network producers that are
pitching my story to Nightline, 60 Minutes, Dateline, etc.  I have spoken
with the Special Advisor to the Head of State for Financial and Drug Crimes
and he has given me an appointment to see him in Abuja.  Right now I have
two other victims that will accompany me on this meeting (collectively, the
three of us have lost approximately 4 million dollars),  but am trying to
put together a larger delegation as there will be alot of press coverage.
The State Department suggested I contact you because they said you may be
able to connect me with other victims or pass my phone number on to other
victims who may want to march with us to the Capitol and press for some
assistance from the very Nigerian Govenrment that espouses there official
stand against these fraudsters.

Can you help me?  My telephone # is (516) 725-7595, my fax # is (516)
725-7872.  I am trying to put this delegation together as soon as possible.
The Nigerian Press will be printing an open letter that I have written to
the First Lady, The Honorable Justice Fati Abubakar, requesting her
assistance.   I plan to meet with the National Security Advisor also while
in Abuja.  Your web page is wonderful and it seems that you are one of the
most knowlegeable people on this subject of 419.  I would be extremely
grateful if you can assist me in this mission.

Thanking you in advance.


Siobhan O'Donnell

15 FEB 99
This one is really a 1998 News piece, but on review we find that we failed
to put it up, sorry, so here it is belatedly:

The 7th Annual Nigerian Crime Conference was held in Ft. Worth, Texas, from
NOV 30th through December 3rd 1998.  Over five hundred representatives from
federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement, private industry, and the 
banking community attended.  The US GOV even sponsored the attendance 
of Mrs. Ojomo from Interpol Lagos, and Mrs. Waziri of the Special Fraud Squad, 
Nigerian Police.

By all accounts the conference was a success.  It was also felt that while 
Mrs. Ojomo and Mrs. Waziri were of course aware of  the global implications of 
Nigerian crime, that it was nevertheless constructive for them to see first hand 
the focus it is getting and to take that message home with them.

3 FEB 1999
This piece appeared recently in the Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper:

                    Business Vanguard
         Scams on foreign bank account
                      holders increase
   By lanre Alabi
   Those who operate foreign accounts and have their statements of account being sent on
   any kind of mailing system in Nigeria stand the risk of being duped.
   Police sources revealed a fresh wave of scams on foreign bank account holders has
   swept through the system and that fraudsters are now working in concert with some
   officials of foreign banks to dupe innocent citizens.
   The surge in such fraud cases (known as 419) worsened the economic risk rating to
   Nigeria towards the end of 1998 and at the beginning of 1999.
   Officials of the Presidential Task force on financial crimes revealed that as at February
   1998, over 4 million suspected scam letters were intercepted by the Nigeria Postal
   Service.. Five million letters were sent back from twelve countries for being post marked
   by forged franking machines.
   The central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has spent over $4 million (N344 million) materially
   and financially to fight the problem. The bank placed warning advertisements in about 80
   newspapers and magazine in 12 international languages in 36 countries.
   Over 8,560 was said to have been investigated by the Task Force on Financial Crimes
   between 1996 and 1998. Sixty-five of such cases are at various tribunals. Other effort
   have been put in place to warn both Nigerians and foreigners. For example information
   has been circulated to business men not to enter into any business relationship in Nigeria
   until such business has been certified genuine by the Nigerian embassies and High
   Commissions in their countries.
   As a back up measure, defence attaches in such countries have been directed to carry
   out enlightenment programmes on 419 scams as a way of dissuading people from falling
   Vanguard Transmitted 01 February, 1999  

419 Coalition Comment:  Where's the Money?  When will it be repatriated?  Also,
for CBN's anti-scam media efforts, please see "Nigerian GOV Media Campaigns"
menu item on 419 Coalition main page.  Additionally, given the 4 million letters
seized by Nigerian authorities stat given in the piece, why then, as little as 7 or
8 months ago was Paul Ogwuma,  Governor of CBN, stating in public that over
the entire many year run of the Scam only some 288,000 letters had been sent?
And of these 8500 investigations how come only 65 people are awaiting trial?
And when will these 65 come to trial?  And when they do will they be convicted?
And, once again, WHERE'S THE MONEY?  WHERE'S THE MONEY?  GOV of Nigeria needs 
to Quit Yappin' and SHOW US THE MONEY!!  Boggles the mind....
7 JAN 1999
This Nigeria PM News piece sent to 419 Coalition by a Concerned Nigerian;

		Amazing Wealth Of Ezego: The Late 419 Kingpin
			      January 6, 1999

Lagos - The last Christmas day was one that was eagerly awaited in the
household of Chief Victor Okafor a.k.a Ezego. The controversial
Lagos-based, Igbo millionaire reputed for his immodest flamboyance was to
turn 34 on Christmas day. 

Plans were afoot to celebrate his 34th birthday which coincided with the
birthday of Jesus Christ, the venerated founder of the Christian faith. To
this end, a trip to his hometown, Ihiala, Imo State, was planned. 

A huge and characteristically magnificent double celebration for the
yuletide and birthday was on the cards. Afrobeat king, Femi Kuti and his
Positive Force Band were billed to entertain the guests on what would have
been one high- voltage party in the sleepy Ihiala community. 

The magnitude of the planned party had reportedly taken the Igbo big
pocket to the Afrikan Shrine in a bid to tie up all the loose ends with
Femi Anikulapo-Kuti. Since the party was billed to run from Christmas eve
till the Boxing Day, Ezego decided to commence his trip to Ihiala on 23
December. The journey to Ihiala and the grand plan of huge Xmas and
birthday celebrations did not materialise. 

Death delivered a blow as Ezego died in an auto accident that reeked of
the immodest opulence that had characterised his life. According to
reports, Ezego started the journey from Lagos to Ihiala in a convoy of six
top of the range automobiles. This included a Lexus Jeep, a Lincoln
Namjafor 1999 model, a new Honda, a stretch Limousine and a blue Porsche. 

Reports say Ezego normally travelled to Ihiala by first taking a flight
to either Enugu or Port Harcourt from where he would be driven to Ihiala.
The high rate of air crashes, sources claim, scared Ezego from making the
trip by air and to choose to go by road. That proved a costly one. 

Ezego's trip out of this world began when, sources said, he climbed
behind the wheels of the Lexus Jeep in the convoy, to drive himself to
Ihiala from Lagos. The jeep was said to have developed an engine fault
somewhere on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Apparently obsessed with the idea
of getting to Ihiala without delay, the jeep was egged on until it finally
got spoilt in Asaba. 

Not wanting to leave the expensive automobile at the mercy of thieves,
Ezego was said to have ordered one of his boys to buy a rope with which the
jeep will be towed. The boy was said to have come back with a chain that
was attached to the broken down jeep and surprisingly, the Lexus Jeep which
Ezego was driving. More amazingly, Ezego was said to have insisted on
towing the Cherokee Jeep with the Lexus Jeep with him behind the wheels. 

The journey continued until one fateful moment somewhere between Ozabulu
and Okiija on the Onitsha/Owerri road, two kilometres from Ihiala, Ezego's
destination. Ezego was said to have run into a bad stretch of the road
while going down a steep slope and for no obvious reason, suddenly applied
the brakes. Apparently oblivious of any clear sign of danger, the driver of
the Cherokee jeep was caught unprepared for such sudden halt and he rammed
the Cherokeee into Ezego's Lexus, fatally pushing him into a gaping ditch
beside the road. This account of Ezego's denouement is, however, not the
only one in circulation. 

Another version claims that it was the chain holding the two jeeps that
snapped, forcing the Cherokee at the back to run into Ezego's Lexus, making
it lose control and taking the ghastly plunge into the ditch. Frantic
efforts were made to save his life as members of his entourage went into
the ditch to bring him out so he could get medical attention. Ezego was
rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital with a deep gash and a grotesquely
puffed-up face. 

Incidentally, the Lady of Lourdes Hospital was said to have benefited
from Ezego's philanthropy. He was said to have made a N15 million donation
to the hospital some years back. Ezego was said to have arrived the
hospital in a reasonably stable condition, but could not receive adequate
medical attention as a doctor was not available. 

By the time the doctor came, Ezego was said to have been bleeding
through the mouth. He was said to have suffered internal bleeding and
shock. All efforts to put him in a stable condition failed. 

Family members suggested a move to a better hospital in Port Harcourt.
It is, however, not clear whether the flamboyant millionaire died on his
way to Port Harcourt or why attempts were being made to fly him to Lagos
from Port Harcourt. Ezego's life was the stuff of which fairy tales are 

A classic rags-to- riches tale. A secondary school drop-out, Ezego had a
turmoil-ridden childhood that climaxed with his father disowning him after
he was fingered a member of robbery gang that terrorised Onitsha traders. 

Escaping from the trader's extra-judicial justice which caught up with
some of his colleagues, young Ezego fled to Umumeni village from where he
was driven out by his father. He heeded for his mother's village, Umuduru.
It was from Umuduru that Ezego moved to Lagos in 1989 to join a mentor. 

Not known to have learnt any trade or vocation, Ezego, within a decade,
built a questionable but stupendously huge financial empire that launched
him into the Brahmin class of the rich and powerful on the Lagos social
circuit. Since hitting the big time, every action of Ezego registered high
on the social scale. An immodestly opulent life-style that was manifested
by a compulsion for car collection. 

At a time, the value of his garage was put at N800 million. Ezego bought
properties worth N500 million. 

The bunker in his Ihiala country home was valued at N500 million. The
marble for the walling of his Ihiala's home was imported from Italy.
According to legends of the Ezego phenomenon, the late businessman had an
insatiable appetite for cars, women and football. Despite his lowly and
decrepit background, Ezego moved in the nation's highest social and
political circles. 

He had a cosy relationship with the top echelons on the nation's police
force, notable politicians and several top brass of the army. They were
usually guests at his various parties which are said to be capable of
rivalling the biggest and wildest of Hollywood's rave-ups. Being so
well-wired to those that matter, Ezego, for long was shielded from the law
despite his spendaholic traits that lacked visible evidence of subsistence. 

He was alleged to have been involved in a myriad of 419 activities and
gun-running. The most visible means of livelihood he had was the Ezego
Shopping Complex on the up market Allen Avenue and the Ezego Plaza on
Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos. 

Yet he never stopped spending. The shield that had kept Ezego away from
prosecution gave way in 1997 when he was arrested with some civilian and
military friends and detained on charges of gun running. He spent close to
a year in detention and was sprung last June. The death of Ezego draws the
curtain on the life of a social phenomenon whose wealth, and flamboyance
albeit questionable, assumed legendary dimensions. 

5 JAN 1999
This Nigeria PM News piece sent to 419 Coalition by a Concerned Nigerian:

		Canadians Fall For Nigerians' 419 Traps 
			    January 4, 1999 

Lagos - Canadians and others from around the world are continuing to
be lured by a money-making scheme set up by Nigerian fraud artists,
the Nigerian high commission in Ottawa confirmed.

The Globe and Mail reported that a letter, or phone call, purportedly
from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria National Petroleum 
Corporation (NNPC), or a senior Nigerian government official, looks
for a "An overseas partner" who would be willing to bank millions of
dollars the senders just happened to have and wanted to move out of
Nigeria for 30 percent of the amount transferred. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimate the scam artists have sent 
10,000 letters to Canadians over the past decade, causing their victims
to lose an estimated C$30 million (US$19 million), the paper said. 

The former Nigerian cabinet ministers and a family member of former 
dictator Gen. Sani Abacha defraud Nigeria of about US$2 billion by 
buying and reselling debt payments on an unfinished Russian-built 
steel plant, the government said. 

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