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March 13, 2002
Letter from Nigeria

I'd read about these deliriously enticing letters, but now I can finally call myself the proud recipient of one. This is a bright shining turning point, I think. With millions in my bank account I will soon leave this Web site in the more capable hands of well-compansated techies and retire myself to the role of content adviser.

I will control everything via satellite hookup from a remote beach, where people will lavish upon me modifiers such as "honourable" and "magnifique absolument" -- even though they'll sneer "jerk" while referring to me, as they vigorously rub their overworked feet and prepare my food without washing their hands. They will moan with pain and joy at the same time.

This is how it all begins:

From: [withheld]
To: [same, with list in blind copy]
Subject: Urgent Assistance
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 16:02:24 -0800 (PST)

[name withheld]

Lagos, Nigeria
FAX NO: [withheld]



I hope this letter will not embarrass you since we have not had any previous communication. I got your reference from the United States trade department under private enquiry that is not related to my aim of writing you this letter and went further to have it confirmed by the Nigeria Exports Promotion Council (NEPC).

I, on behalf of my other colleagues from different Federal Government of Nigeria owned parastatals decided to solicit your assistance as regards the transfer of the above stated amount into your bank account. This fund arose from the over-invoicing of various contracts awarded in my parastatals to certain foreign contractors some time ago.

We as holders of official positions in various parastatals, were mandated by this new civilian government to scrutinize all payments made to certain foreign contractors by the past Military Government and we discovered that some of the contracts they executed were grossly over-invoiced, either by omission or commission. Also we discovered that the sum of $65,560,000.00 (Sixty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars Only You miserable debile I know you'll just post this on the Web without reading it all the way through so let me just do you in by inserting this you nitwit you) was lying in a suspense account, although the foreign contractors were fully paid their entitlements after executing the said contracts. We all agreed that the over-invoiced amount be transferred (for our own use) into a bank account provided by a foreign partner, as the code of conduct of the Federal Civil Service does not allow us to operate foreign accounts.

However, we have succeeded in transferring some of these money, precisely US$20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million United States Dollars Only) into a foreign account in GENEVA (SWITZERLAND). But unfortunately, the provider of the account has severed all forms of contacts with us as he has refused to adhere to our earlier mutual agreement insisting that the total amount be paid into his nominated bank account before disbursement will take effect. If for US$20M (Twenty Million United States Dollars Only) we are not compensated, how can one guarantee full compensation on remittance of the balance of US$45.560M (Forty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars Only).

We are therefore seeking your assistance based on the balance amount of US$45.560M, which can be speedily processed and fully remitted into your nominated bank account. On successful remittance of the fund into your account, you will be compensated with 25% of the amount for assistance and services and 5% set aside for expenses contingency.

This transaction is closely knitted and in view of our SENSITIVE POSITION we cannot afford a slip, I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free. We will avail you with our identities as regards our respective offices, when relationship is fully established and smooth operation commences. I am at your disposition to entertain any question(s) from you in respect of this transaction, so contact me immediately through the above private email addresses( Presidency & mail) and fax number for further information on the requirements and procedure.

Please note that the DEAL needs utmost confidentiality and your immediate response will be highly appreciated and we will use our own share of the money to establish a lucrative business in your country.

Please you should contact me immediately with your private fax and telephone numbers where further details in respect to this transaction would be sent to. Please do not disregard my email for any reason because it was addressed to and from myself, it is for security reason to avoid problem.

Yours truly,

[name withheld]

It is widely known that these deals ultimately lead to an exciting trip to Nigeria. It follows, then, that in Part 2, I will wire a dispatch from the Lagos airport. This is how I picture it: dark and mysterious, the bright sun obliterating nearly everything else.

Planes parked at sunset

In Part 3 I will be greeted at my hotel by courteous and rather abnormally large gentlemen. As the evening proceeds I will be wined and dined; I will also be drugged and ultimately introduced to quite a few highly unnecessary baseball bats.

The coda will be provided by the State Department.


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