Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Bad Air Day

For years I've been receiving emails from "Nigerian entremanures", offering to give me the business over millions upon millions of dollars that have been left behind by foreigners. Foreigners who've allegedly been killed in various and sundry accidents in Nigeria and points nearby.

A few involve motor vehicles. Fewer involve trains. Perhaps a very remote few involve military transport. One or two might have even involved some really weird demises, such as being trampled in water buffalo and merekat stampedes.

But the majority of them involve plane crashes. Crashes that always take out the foreigner and all of his kin, leaving it to me to step up as their next of kin, so that my Nigerian "benefactor" and I can split the imaginary millions.

Intended to be at my expense, of course.

If I take the statistics from the hundreds of emails I've received since 2000, I wager to say that Nigeria is the single-most unsafe country in the world to fly into/out of. I'm sure the regular Nigerian government and Federal Ministry of Aviation would dispute these statistics, and probably with justification, but I digress.

Witness the following and latest I received under the heading of "Good Day" from, of all people, a "representative" from the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Aviation (TOING!):

From The Desk of Daggash Bugaji
ChairMan Contract Award Committee
Federal Ministry of Aviation

Dear Sir:

My name is Daggash Bugaji, chairman of the contract award committee of the Federal Minstry of Aviation. Sometime last year, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to upgrade the Radar and Landing facilities at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, kano in Northern Nigeria. The contract ran into several millions of Dollars.

The contract was handled by a foreign firm but because of the huge monetary profit we envisaged we decided to over-invoice the contract sum (who does he think he is, Halliburton?).

Now the contract has been completed and the original contractor has been paid, but the contract balance of US $13.2 million, which resulted from the over invoiced, has been left in a suspense account with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The foreign contractor contact with whom I worked to achieve this was killed in a plane crash (TOING!!) going home to coordinate our taking of these funds.

The problem is as a government official, I am not supposed to own fat bank accounts, talk less of having foreign ones. Since my original partner in this venture is died, I am soliciting your assistance as a foreign partner who can assist me and receive this amount into your account. I am ready to share this money with you on the basis of your participation, and seek your help to invest part of this money in any viable business in your country under your care, as I am most close to retirement age. I received a positive reference about you on the net (TOING!!!) while looking for a potential and reliable partner (what, I'm listed online under Please if you accept my proposal do not hesitate to send me an e-mail, so I can provide you with the basic procedures for release of the fund.

BENEFIT: for providing the account where we shall remit the money, you will be entitled to 20% of the entire funds, with 75% going to me, and 5% for expenses that may incur by both parties during this transaction.

I am necessary to tell you that to complete the modalities and processes for the legal fund transfer, you will be required to fly to Nigeria (TOING!!!!) to meet with my attorney and bank officials. I assure you this is safe and full legal, with no risk attendant to you personally (TOING!!!!!).

Please, I enjoin you to handle this transaction with utmost degree of maturity (TOING!!!!!!) and confidentiality because I am still in active government serice with the FEDERAL MINISTRY OF AVIATION. If I receive your response on time, this whole transaction could be accomplished with the shortest possible time based on your nterest and determination, since the money must soon be in transit.

Yours faithfully,

Daggash Bugaji

I didn't even need an extra *TOING* to see the angle of response hyar.

My reply to Mr. Nigerian Air, Dagnabbit Buggeye:

My Good Mr. Buggeye:

I am most appreciative that you, out of all the choices you could have made off the Net sources you perused for a foreign partner replacement, decided it was me that you wished to give this business to. I'd also love to know from you which Net source you located me on; I think I am indebted to them, and wish, when this is consummated, to give them something. Like a foot up their ass, but that's for later.

But to more pressing matters: I am modestly moved to, with all due respect due your governmental eminence and position, point out with emphasis the irony here. Over the years, Buggeye, I have received a large number of these offers to give me this business. In almost every case -- like about 99.99% of them -- the original foreign person(s) died. In a plane crash. In Nigeria.

Stay with me, Buggeye: they died when their plane crashed. In the words of Number 5, they "ceased to function". Them and their immediately-known kin, right down to the family pet in some cases, rendering the use of even 'Fluffy' as next of kin to be a non-starter. Granted, a few of them didn't die in the plane: a couple of them died in cars that a plane fell on. In at least one case I recall, the foreign bank account holder of dubious antecedence and worse luck was killed in a merekat stampede. A stampede triggered by a plane crash.

What the hell, Buggeye: is Nigeria proof that Fig Newton's Law of Gravitas is just another short-lived and bad TV reality show?

And now, you come to me -- you, a claimed employee of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Government of Nigeria -- and you want me to front for you in acquiring the ill-gotten gains that another foreigner had helped you get, before he died in a plane crash leaving your country.

And on top of that, you tell me that I, as a condition of consummation of the effort to give me this business, must fly to Nigeria. In a plane. Not on the plane, since I'd get blowd off of it at takeoff, but I digress. And I'm supposed to fly into this Kano airport, which consists of two dirt strips with unregulated Elephant Xing signs midway, an outhouse, and an old Quonset hut/barn thing that doubles as maintenance and the terminal, full of petrified palm leaves, dead flies and stale gazelle jerky, to meet with an attorney? And you would suggest to me, with all that, that the transaction is risk-free?

Finally, Buggeye, you expect me to do all of that, and for only 20%?

With all due respect, Dagnabbit Buggeye, are you snorting dried hallucinagens made from dried and processed water buffalo leavins again, or were you a passenger aboard one of your own planes? I was born in the morning, Buggeye, but not this morning.

But I'll tell you what, my aeronautically kamikaze friend of all things fall down and blow up: I'll give your kind offer to give me this business my highest priority of consideration. Yes, I will. Really. Honest.

Meantime, I will await the verification telegram from the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Government of Nigeria, that confirms you are who you say you are.

Uh, wait...this was supposed to be confidential, wasn't it?


Oh well...early retirement ain't so bad.

Well...around here, anyway.

Thanks for thinking of me, Buggeye. I hope you feel the same, shortly.


U. R. Phulovit
Our Crabs Can Fly; How About Yours?

What is becoming something of a disappointing refrain these days, Dagnabbit Buggeye didn't see fit to follow up his offer to give me the business.

You don't suppose a plane fell on his office, do you?


Blogger Monica said...

Maybe that's why I never get involved with their scams...I'm scared of flying and they don't make it any easier on me...geez.

25 June, 2006 19:54  
Blogger Herb said...

Do people ever actually believe this stuff?

26 June, 2006 04:51  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Makes you wonder why they keep writing to you. You must have quite the reputation as a great humanitarian. :-P

26 June, 2006 05:59  
Anonymous Jerry said...

I followed a link in herb's comments to your blog, nice blog.

I am a CPA, I have a client, well my firm does that had a person fall victem to one of these schemes and lost like $1,500.

As many dead millionaires as Nigeria claims to have you would think they would be an economic powerhouse.

26 June, 2006 10:13  
Blogger Raggedy said...

Wow! I think Bugaji bugged out. Maybe he is hiding under a rock.

DON"T GO!!!!

Have a wonderful day!

26 June, 2006 10:22  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

They've also figured out how to send a message to my yahoo account and have the icon come up that says they are already in my address book. Thats not only annoying, but spooky.

26 June, 2006 12:27  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Monica: don't think Nigerian air safety (or the online reputed lack thereof); think the Frontier Airlines commercials (like Jack the Rabbit deleting Grizwald the bear from Larry's laptop while Larry the Lynx nods approvingly).

Statistically, air travel in the US is many times safer than riding a water buffalo...

Herb: you'd be amazed how many folks fall for this crap, which is why it's so prevalent on the 'Net

Stacy: oh, I someones' warped mind ;)

Jerry: yep, there's many folks who've lost as much if not more to these types of scams

Raggedy: no travel plans ;)

MC: if you've ever left an email address in any guestbook online, that's how they find you: mining online guestbooks.

26 June, 2006 14:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site...
» » »

26 November, 2006 18:55  

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