31.03.2024 Feature Article

Feeling sorry for Nigerian Scammers

Feeling sorry for Nigerian Scammers
31.03.2024 LISTEN

A story that I read in the British newspaper, Guardian, prompted me to reach back into my archives and dust off a piece that I wrote some years back on the infamous scammers in Nigeria popularly known as 419.

Here is the Guardian’s story:
“More than 150 years after they were “stolen in violent circumstances” by British soldiers, two top UK museums are returning some of Ghana’s “crown jewels”.

The items, which have been described as part of the “national soul” of Ghana, are being loaned – rather than given back – because a UK law bans national museums from “deaccessioning” items in their collections.

However, experts hope that the three-year loan of the 32 pieces of Asante gold by the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, will spark national and international debate about the rightful return of artefacts with cultural and religious significance to their countries of origin.

The Asante gold agreement, reached after the current Asante king Otumfuo Osei Tutu II met King Charles, will be watched closely in Athens, which is seeking the return of the Parthenon marbles, and Nigeria, which has long campaigned for the Benin bronzes to be given back.

Why just a loan?
The items – 15 from the British Museum and 17 from the V&A – will only be on display in Manhyia Palace for three years (with an option to be extended for a further three years). This is because the British Museum Act 1963 and the National Heritage Act 1983 prevent the trustees of major UK museums from permanently handing back contested treasures in their collections.

“Everyone in the museum community obviously welcomes that there is finally movement in returning these items,” Hicks says. But this doesn’t mean that in other cases – like the Parthenon marbles and the Benin bronzes – loans will prove to be the answer, rather than permanently and unconditionally giving back stolen goods.

It’s not enough for many people in Ghana, who have taken to social media and local radio to complain that the deal is akin to a thief agreeing to loan back stolen goods.

“A burglar raids your home and steals your valuables. You managed to track down the burglar and they grudgingly agree to ‘loan’ them back to you. That sounds crazy doesn’t it?” Lorraine King, a presenter on Colourful Radio in the UK posted on X (formerly Twitter). “Well the UK will loan Ghana the crown jewels they stole from them 150 years ago.”

Ayim acknowledges that people are angry at the idea of a loan, but said it was hoped that it would be the first step in a journey that would lead to their permanent return. “We know the objects were stolen in violent circumstances, we know the items belong to the Asante people.” -

Here is my article:
Feeling sorry for Nigerian Scammers
[from my archives]
“Moron loses money.” – Anon.

It is very difficult for me not to feel sorry for and angry at the sad parade of bush-league amateurs who call themselves 419 scammers in Nigeria.

There they are, a bunch of incompetent fools, wasting their time, resources, and energies writing stupid letters…

([email protected])
Let me start by introducing myself. I am Patrick K. W. Chan Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have an obscured (sic) business proposal that will be of great benefit to you and me(sic, sigh, sigh). It involves the transfer of funds and I need you to assist me in executing this business project from Hong Kong to your country. It involves the transfer of money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us. I shall furnish you with more information about this transfer operation immediately I receive a positive response from you.

I will appreciate your earliest response.
Kind Regards,
Mr. Patrick K. W. Chan]
All that these lowlifes get are measly peanuts for their stupendous efforts.

Occasionally, a few brainless morons, with more money than brain cells, respond to these obviously bogus letters and send the SOBs a few thousand dollars, laptops, whatnot, and other pathetic stuff.

These mindless idiots, obviously too befuddled by the sudden ill-gotten windfall, become instant Capitalist Niggers.

Instead of investing (that word that does not seem to exist in African languages!) in productive ventures, the cretins will start to splash money around like they’ve got private mint at home. Guys who yesterday couldn’t afford to buy a bicycle will start to tool around town in designer jeeps with mostly unregistered vehicle number plates. They wine and dine like film stars and consume imported liquor with price tags bigger than their telephone numbers. They also appear to easily find equally brainless easy-girls who flock to these cheap hustlers the same manner hyenas flock to easy food.

It matters little that the cretins are still in their tiny, roaches-infested rat holes in the most wretched part of the ghetto, their only ambition is to loudly announce themselves as ostentatiously as possible.

Of course, it does not take long for tongues to start wagging – gossip is a favorite pastime of idle minds, and it has been perfected to scientific form in many parts of Africa.

When eventually the arms of the law grab them, they are given a long stretch of jail terms since many African governments have, at the instigation of the West, passed legislation against these types of crimes.

After all, crime does not pay, most especially when perpetrated by evil-minded black men against decent white folks.

For these stupendously pathetic efforts and rewards, the scammers succeeded in turning their country into a world-class pariah state.

Holding a Nigerian passport has become a sentence to the long stretch of interrogation at border posts. People around the world now look at Nigerians with suspicion, contempt, and disdain.

Even Colin Powell, George W. Bush’s secretary of state, chipped in. He famously called Nigeria a nation of scammers.

We, of course, should pity that war criminal with absolutely no sense of shame or history, as he appeared not to have read his history well.

That pathetic Uncle Tom and his criminal gang launched a colonial war of aggression that killed (who is counting?) Iraqis in order to steal their oil and gold wealth, and the mindless felon had the effrontery to denigrate other people.

A man who should be cooling his feet in jail for the criminal destruction of Ancient Mesopotamia had the audacity to insult another country as being made up of thieves!

I wonder what the scallywag thinks his nation’s multinational corporations have been doing in the non-white world if not scamming the natives.

I wonder whether the idiot has ever read the famous speech of another American general, Smedley D. Butley: “War is a Racket.”

Let’s leave our inane Uncle Tom alone for a while.

As usual, the Western media, vigorously pursuing the agenda of their corporate bosses, came to town to bash Nigeria.

From London through Paris to Washington and down under in Australia, Nigeria becomes the butt of jokes.

Even talk-show hostess, Oprah Winfrey, was recruited in the endeavor.

Nigerians are portrayed as evil-minded people whose only desire in life is to swindle decent, innocent, Christian, God-fearing, hard-working, and honest white folks.

But is this the reality? I shall tackle that issue another time.

Some Africans get defensive when white folks give their usual sanctimonious speeches about crimes and things.

I do not.
I suffer from no complex that would make me listen to the children of pirates, gun-boat diplomats, slavers, colonialists, rogue capitalists, imperialist plunderers, and continent stealers give me any lecture on morality.

There is absolutely no lesson I can learn from a Euro-American on good ethical conduct!

No, I did not condemn Europe and the USA; their wretched history condemned them.

Since the dawn of time, as history bloodily attests, Euro-Americans have done nothing but steal, loot, rape, plunder, and expropriate the resources of other people – if only people will read!

“Blessed is he that readeth.” Revelation 1:3.

Western Corporations pay a pittance for African resources (5% for our oil for example) and Westerners want to talk to me about stealing!

I say, bring it on!
Western banks are said to be holding about $60 billion of looted Nigerian money; we did not hear a whimper.

Now, some Nigerian swindlers are hitting back, and all that we hear are shouts of: “What a tribulation!”

Tony “Liar” Blair promised an “ethical foreign policy” that, however, didn’t stop British banks from accepting money looted from the Nigerian treasury by the late Nigerian muscular dictator, General Sanni Abacha.

The Nigerian government has been engaged in “negotiation” with the Swiss authorities to get the Alpine nation to repatriate the rest of Abacha’s loot.

The Swiss demanded of the Nigerian government PROOF that the money was stolen.

One wonders if they demanded PROOF OF OWNERSHIP before accepting billions of dollars of deposits an infantry general from a poor, Third World country brought to them.

All the crimes committed against Africa are never front-page news in the Western media.

When African dictators loot their national treasuries they are welcome at Western airports with a high protocol. They are met, wined, and dined at the highest official and private levels. Safes with secret codes are provided for them to lodge their ill-gotten wealth.

This stolen African wealth is helping to improve Western economies while further impoverishing Africa.

All these stories are well-known acts but they are not bannered on headlines. The lazybone rented Stenographers who masquerade as Western journalists have been embedded to see only what their paymasters want them to see.

It is only when a few Africans manage to steal a tad of millions of dollars that we are told that crime does not pay!

Crime does not pay, ah!
Coming from Westerners, this is super-rich!
Now back to the Nigerian so-called scammers. Whilst the wretched fools were messing about duping people of hundreds of bucks, serious, and more business-minded folks in the West were doing serious business.

Gamblers masquerading as bankers managed to collapse blue-chip companies from Australia to Venezuela and beyond. They left in their wake crumbled banks, disintegrated pension funds, fragmented mortgages, and other financial woes that officials are still busy unraveling with no end in sight.

They toppled a few governments and left the world’s economy reeling with no one clued for a solution.

And after all these horrendous crimes, few of the perpetrators ever saw the inside of a prison.

Oh, sorry, okay, Mr. Madoff and Sir (imagine that) Stanford were arrested and jailed, but we were made to believe that the governments, with all their agencies and institutions, and the oxymoronic outfits they call intelligence agencies, all of them went to deep sleep while these white-collared criminals were doing their thing.

While a Nigerian scammer would be very lucky indeed if he could grab 10 million dollars, one very (un)respectable folk, Bernard Madoff, managed to “mismanage” 50 billion dollars (and counting) – close to one-third of Nigeria’s US$170 billion GDP!

Madoff claimed to have a “proprietary strategy” to turn mere money into megabucks. It has since been revealed that it was a Ponzi scheme: using money from new investors to pay off old ones.

Unlike those pitiable idiots from Nigeria who must constantly watch their backs, Mr. Madoff moved in elite circles. He had a penthouse apartment in Manhattan. He owned shares in two private jets and his private yacht was always comfortably moored off the French Riviera. He wined and dined with the movers and shakers and shapers of power so much so that he became a sort of an elder statesman on Wall Street. He managed to get into important boards and commissions where he helped shape securities policies and regulations. Along the way, he was made the chairman of a major stock exchange, Nasdaq!

It is like appointing Al Capone as the Chief Security Officer at Fort Knox.

According to the BBC, Madoff reportedly told FBI agents that there was “no innocent explanation” for the collapse of his investment scheme. The money has simply gone into “money heaven.”

That was Mr. Madoff for you.
Let’s turn to another financial wizard who could have taught the Nigerian juvenile scammers a thing or two.

Welcome, (Sir) Robert Allen Stanford.
Sir Allen, as he likes to be called since being knighted by his pals in the Antiguan government, was another scammer who operated on a level Nigerians so-called scammers can only dream about.

Like Madoff, Sir Allen does not believe in doing things by half. He assiduously courted and befriended officials at the highest echelons; many US legislators were among his friends.

In 2007, a magazine declared him the “Investment Banker of the Year!”

Whatever happens to investigative journalism?

Sir Stanford sedulously wooed US lawmakers and their staff with plane rides and “fact-finding” trips to vacation destinations. The Inter-American Economic Council, a nonprofit organization that Sir Allen supported, paid for many of the trips. Sir Allen wooed prospective investors by offering them flights to Antigua on his private jets.

This was followed by a breezy trip through Antigua’s quiet bays on his yacht. The richest prospective investors would then be lodged for a few days in cottage guest rooms at his secluded Jumby Bay, a 300-acre private island cozily cocooned in a nature preserve.

Sir Stanford liked to be surrounded by a bevy of scantily attired, leggy, blonde Barbie dolls.

The pocket-sized Caribbean Island of Antigua (442 sq mi/171 sq mi; 69,481 – 2007 est. population) is a country that Sir Allen literally had in his pocket.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Sir Allen’s “Stanford’s investment companies spent over $5 million on lobbying, $2 million on campaign contributions, and thousands more on flying members of Congress to the Caribbean, where Stanford lives. Many of the legislators do have longstanding interests in the region and have reimbursed him.”

With so many friends in the highest places, it is little wonder that the responses of governments to the vast crimes of these so-called investors were to press their money-printing presses into higher gear – they have to bail out their friends.

After all, these unconscionable scammers are in good company: “In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn in a US-directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.”(cf. The Independent).

I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the vast corruption and debauchery that has consumed the Western countries, And they had the effrontery to talk about corruption in Africa and 419 in Nigeria!

More like the kettle calling the pot black.