While the Germans are known for their cars, the Dutch for flowers, the Spanish for tourism, South Africa for gold, America for George Bush and the Chinese for, well...everything,
the 419 phenomenon appears to be Nigeria's best export (and import - known 419ers becoming 'honourables' and the like).
I get two or three 'requests for assistance' letters in my office e mail boxes everyday: from 'Maryam Abacha' to 'Charles Soludo'; from those with quite impeccable English to grammatical atrocities that knock me off my seat; from plausible requests to outrageous demands that make you wonder about the level of stupidity of the writer (you know, there's a study that says criminals have a lower mental capacity than the norm, but I digress); from those invoking the name of God to those pretending they know you; and I realise this 'service' has now reached industrial proportions. Indeed, so many e mails now come from other countries of Africa, it's jaw-dropping.
Depending on my mood, I find them amusing, annoying, frustrating or just a downright unauthorised invasion of my in boxes.
I have decided to share some of them, the first instalment follows:
How is everything going, I hope great?
Though i have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have
approached you on this issue being that the internet has been greatly
abused over the recent years and is very unsecured for informations of
I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means could have
been faster and more efficient than the E-mail. I write to you
irrespective of the fact you do not know me,but please do consider this
letter as a request from a brother in dire need of assistance.
My name is George Green(Sgt)an American soldier, I am serving in the
military of the 1st Armored Division here in Iraq. As you know we are
being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs, it will come worst
now Saddam Hussein was executed. During one of our rescue Mission we
came across a safe that contains the total sum of $21,000,000 (Twenty one
Million Us Dollars) that belongs to the revolutionaries, which I believe
they use in buying weapons and ammunitions, and it was agreed by all party
present that the money will be shared amongst us. You can go to this web
link to read about events that took place here:
Out of the total fund my share was $8,000,000 (Eight Million US Dollars).
I am seeking your assistance to evacuate my share of the money, which is
$8,000,000 out of here to you, in as much as you can assure me that my own
share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.
This is no stolen money,and there are no dangers involved, as I have made
arrangements with a UN representative based in Asia who promised to
deliver the fund to any of my choosing destination. I shall be
compensating you with US$2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars) on final conclusion of this project,while the rest shall be for
me for my investment purposes.
One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter
with a third party, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please
destroy this e-mail as any leakage of this information will be too bad for
I do not know for how long we will remain here, and I have survived two
suicide bomb attacks, which prompted me to reach out for help because I
will be migrating to you to invest and start a new life not as a soldier
Please if this proposal is acceptable by you, kindly send me an e-mail
signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone
numbers for quick communication also your home address where the fund
would be delivered.
As soon as I receive your email with the information, I will furnish you
with full details on when and how the fund shall be delivered to you by
the diplomat and he will make a contact with you before anything move.
Waiting for our urgent reply.
Sgt. George Green.