A posting in soc.culture.nigeria gives UPI as reporting out of Kuala
Lumpur on 20 DEC that Malaysian authorities are investigating and have
made arrests concerning a Nigerian 419 ring which has been operating
there since 1991. Police spokesman Ismail Che Rose says that the ring
has defrauded a string of businessmen from South Korea, New Zealand,
Palestine, Austria, and Malaysia.
The Scammers posed as Nigerian Government and Parastatal officials
and used fake letters from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Debt
Reconciliation Committee in their operations. They are also believed
to have defrauded several banks using fake drafts and other instruments.
A Nigerian holding a Zimbabwean passport under the name Tinet Siketha
Bahle - Mwammuha is at the center of the 419 ring, according to Malaysian
authorities. Two Nigerian students are among those arrested in connection
with the scam.
19 DEC 1997
Douglas Cole AKA Peter McGrath (see 11 DEC News Item) has been convicted
of 22 counts of 419 related charges in the US District Court in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. Authorities think Cole/McGrath's ring has been
responsible for up to $20 million in fraud worldwide.
Cole/McGrath and his company, United Guaranty Audit (among other names)
would receive a 10 to 20 percent commission on 419ed monies as he moved
upwards of $2.5 million from victims in Los Angeles, Japan, Louisiana, Great
Britain, France, Australia, Austria, Hong Kong, and elsewhere to Nigerian
controlled bank accounts in New York, Australia, and London.
Cole/McGrath has cooperated with Federal Authorities in building cases
against his Nigerian co-conspirators in London and Lagos.
419 Coalition is pretty sure it did not help Cole/McGrath much when US
District Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., who will sentence him on 27 FEB,
said he has seen 419 letters while playing on local golf courses.
Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Kay, who headed up the team which prosecuted
and convicted Cole/McGrath declined comment when asked whether the US
would try to prosecute the foreign perpetrators. According to Interpol
and US authorities, "corruption is deeply entrenched in Nigerian political
and banking circles. While Nigeria has extradited drug-money laundering
defendants and other criminals, it has never cooperated with countries
seeking fraud defendants."
Cole/Mcgrath also faces additional 419 charges brought against him by
the State of Maryland, and is scheduled to be tried there in early 1998.
The Cole/McGrath case is the second conviction in Florida for participating
in multi-million dollar Nigerian Scam/419 operations. Edwin Berman was
convicted there in March 1997, receiving a sentence of five years probation
after cooperating with US authorities in Operation Big Ben, which led to the
arrest of three London-based Nigerian 419ers.
16 DEC 97
As reported in the soc.culture.nigeria newsgroup and 10 DEC in the German
newspaper Wetteraur Zeitung, Agents of the Dusseldorf State Bureau of
Investigations (LKA) have arrested a gang of 419ers which had been
operating in Germany since 1988. 7 of the 18 members of the gang were
arrested, two of which were German nationals. It is estimated that the
gang, which operated wordwide, had caused a loss of a minimum of 200
million German marks in Germany alone.
The gang had followed a normal 419er modus operandi of representing
themselves as employees of NNPC, CBN, and other Nigerian Government
ministries and then 419ing their targets.
Score another one for the "gut" ( good ) guys!
11 DEC 1997
Thomas E. Scott, United States Attorney for Southern District of Florida,
Jack Kippenberger, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret
Service, Miami Field Office, and Mark Grey, Inspector in Charge of the US
Postal Inspection Service announced today that DOUGLAS ARTHUR COLE AKA
PETER MCGRATH AKA WILLIAM H. MILES was arraigned this morning on charges
that he helped direct a multi-million dollar global Nigerian 419 operation.
Cole is charged with 22 Counts of 419 related charges. Assistant United
States Attorney Jeffrey H. Kay, of the Fort Lauderdale Office, is handling
the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Cole. It is the understanding of
419 Coalition that a significant amount of monies were recovered by Task
Force in relation to this case.
Cole was arrested in Washington DC over six months ago by the Secret
Service Task Force DC office. Task Force had been trying to get this
fellow for years, and the opportunity finally arose when 419 Coalition
brought the case of a Connecticut couple with hard evidence in a 419
case to the attention of Task Force and an alert Special Agent was able
to link that case to Mr. Cole. The arrest followed within the week.
Cole had been running around the world for years representing his Company,
United Guaranty Audit ( and others ) as being able to secure lucrative
contracts with the Government of Nigeria, complete with official looking
Government of Nigeria and Central Bank of Nigeria credentials and documents.
Cole also could and would produce purported High Officials of the Government
of Nigeria and CBN in person when required to close the deals. Of course,
the whole thing was a 419 operation.
It has been alleged that Cole did indeed have "friends" at high levels of
GOV of Nigeria and CBN. One Dutch target, when checking on Cole/McGrath
with Central Bank of Nigeria, was told that CBN knew Cole/McGrath but that
"he doesn't work with us anymore."
Since 419 Coalition was instrumental in the arrest of Mr. Cole/McGrath
six months ago, we of course knew he was in custody. However, Task Force
asked 419 Coalition to keep the matter under wraps, as Cole/McGrath was
singing his head off in hopes of getting a reduced sentence, and Task Force
was mounting several operations based on the information provided by Cole
which would have been blown if it became general knowledge that Cole
was in custody.
We were, of course, glad to oblige Task Force in regard to keeping quiet
the matter of Cole's arrest.
Congratulations to Task Force on their success in the Cole/McGrath case
and related operations. Score one Big One for the Good Guys!
3 DEC 1997
419 Coalition has received a report from Australia that the Nigerian High
Commission in Canberra was was very helpful in relation to a Scam inquiry,
saying that General Abacha has been told by the IMF the corruption must
be curbed in Nigeria if he expects continued assistance from the IMF and
the Paris Club.
The Nigerian High Commission also said that they "would include the address
[ URL ] of 419 Coalition on the info they send out to all enquiries [ 419
related ]." We do hope that they follow through on that, as our records
show that Nigerian Scam attempts are currently on the rise in Australia.
This would be a welcome development, as 419 Coalition is long on record as
being willing to work with anyone or any agency willing to fight Nigerian
However, only fair to note ( perhaps the Nigerian Foreign Office has not
informed the Nigerian High Commission in Australia yet ) that the Nigerian
Government issued an official Position Paper on 419 Coalition in April 1996,
calling us, among other things - incompetent lying profiteers and implying
that we are racist, imperialist, colonialist dogs only out to make a name
for ourselves(?) and get rich off the misery of the Criminals who have
lost money due to the Nigerian Scam and from the misery of the Nigerian
people ( paraphrased summary ).
The Position Paper is available in its entirety on the International
Investigation Services site which is menued up on our site both on Main
Page and in the Links section [ http://www.superhighway.is/iis/ ].
Our Response to that Position Paper is also menued up on our Main Page.
419 Coalition wishes to restate here yet again that we will work with
anyone or anything which wishes to fight the Nigerian Scam, and in this
particular case the High Commission of Nigeria in Australia qualifies in
that regard. Kudos. We believe in giving credit where credit is due.
2 DEC 1997
The United States Secret Service Joint Task Force on West African Fraud
recently gave presentations on Nigerian Organized Crime to a conference
of Law Enforcement officials from 14 Nations held in Stockholm, Sweden,
and to the Regional Conference on Money Laundering ( Gosh, 419 Coalition
gets a chuckle out of that title ) held in Lagos, Nigeria.
We are informed that the presentation in Lagos ran to two hours in length,
including a slide show and graphics, and that the role of Nigerian 419 in
providing the capital for other illicit enterprises such as the drug trade
9 NOV 1997
In an 8 NOV article titled "Fraudsters Shift Base to Neighboring Countries"
the Post Express cites an Unnamed Source at NCB - Interpol Lagos to the
effect that Nigerian law enforcment efforts and the bad PR generated by
CBN advertorials etc. have increasingly driven the 419ers to neighboring
countries like Benin, Burkina-Faso, Ghana etc. The Unnamed Source also
says that Interpol Lagos hasn't seen a new 419 case involving a foreigner
According to GOV of Nigeria pronouncments over the last several years, the
419ers are Always "being" driven from Nigeria to neighboring countries.
Yet, 5 million letters, most of them 419 letters, originating from Nigeria,
were returned to Nigeria by other Governments for "improper franking"
a few months ago; the US alone will arrest ten times as many 419ers as
Nigeria will this year; there have still been no convictions in Nigeria;
and no substantial amount of the Billions stolen has begun flowing back
from Nigeria due to the efforts of Nigerian authorities.
On the PR problem the 419ers are having, that is true enough, but it is
one they have generated for themselves due to the ubiquitousness of their
activities, Not due to pressure from CBN advertorials etc. 419ers have
for years been setting up "Stringers" ( sortof Field Offices ) in other
countries, this is nothing new, but the Home Office has always remained
in Nigeria where they can operate with impunity.
We have advised the editorial staff of Post Express that this was a
singularly poorly researched article, bordering on disinformation, and
have made those views known to the US Task Force dealing with this
matter and to the US Department of State.
419 Coalition has noticed no decrease in 419 activity emanating from
Nigeria, we still get 60 plus front door hits on our site every day, seven
days a week, and in fact have noticed an Increase in 419 activity in the
South Asia and Australia regions of late.
7 NOV 97
The Decision came down late yesterday in the Adler Case, ( see previous
news items ). Adler lost. We do not know the basis for the loss yet,
we are awaiting our copy of the Decision. The Judge, Irma Gonzalaz,
was the same Jurist who had earlier thrown out the case on the basis of
Nigeria's Sovereign Immunity and was subsequently reversed on appeal by
a higher court, thereby forcing this Trial. We will fill you in on the
details of the Decision as soon as we get our copy. It is not currently
known whether or not Adler intends to appeal the Decision, we will keep
419 Coalition is disappointed, but is perfectly aware that as long as the
Nigerian Scam is running, and it shows no signs of abating, there will be
other Court cases, and notes that there are lessons to be learned from
any case, win or lose, that can be applied in subsequent cases.
Our "side" only has to win One case. Better sooner than later, of course,
but we'll take it whenever it happens. On the other hand, the Government
of Nigeria has to win ALL the cases, both current and future, Forever.
And we've got all the time in the world, we're a patient and persistent
bunch :) :) :)
7 NOV 97
The Post Express published on 4 NOV an article titled "Money Laundering
Workshop Begins in Lagos" ( the title alone is priceless ). In a "related
development", Dr. Paul Ogwuma, Governor of CBN ( please look back through
earlier news items in 1997 and 1996 ) is to be the Keynote Speaker at the
Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria ( CIBN ) annual dinner. ROFL :)
:) :) :) :) 419 Coalition is Rolling On Floor Laughing.
30 SEP 97
In an editorial of 25 SEP 97 titled "Building Nigeria" the Nigerian
newspaper Post Express says, in part, "As soon as corruption becomes
a national ethos in any society, as it is in Nigeria, such a society is
heading to its destruction...There can be no future in a country in which
the most common phenomenon which characterizes over 85 per cent of its
population is stealing. The only analysis close to understanding corruption
in Nigeria is like saying all Nigerians from ages 6 to 100 be wiped away,
that is the appropriate answer to how corruption can be wiped out in
Stong words. We here at 419 Coalition continue to believe that the great
majority of Nigerians at home and abroad are decent, law abiding citizens,
and we have never had a problem with traditional forms of dash, wong rokok,
bakshish, tea money, etc. We recognize that is how most of the world runs,
and that it has been running very well that way for a very long time.
We do however, think that in Nigeria dash has run amok, gone beyond the
pale, off the charts, has become dangerous, and has metamorphosed itself
into the massive 419 operations we deal with every day.
But 85% of the population as 419ers or directly benefiting from 419? We
think Not. Given the available data in this matter like the 50,000 dirty
phone numbers in Nigeria collected by our Task Force over the last 18
months ( the Nigerian Scam has been running for about 10 years ), the
magnitude of the losses wordwide, and considering the "multiplier effect"
( the stolen money passing through various hands as goods and commodities
are purchased in the economy, not all the stolen money is squirreled away
abroad, what good is stealing it if one can't spend it, and most of the Big
Men stay in Nigeria where they are "safe" ), and that 419 has been cited
by Diplomatic sources onsite to be perhaps the third largest industry in
Nigeria, we'd figure that 5% or maybe 10% tops of Nigerians directly benefit
from 419 operations. Multiplier effect excluded, since many of the sellers
of goods and services who receive monies stolen by 419 have no definitive
way of knowing the origination the money, we'd put the percentage of active
419ers and those who directly and knowingly benefit from 419 to the Nigerian
population, very conservatively, at one to three per cent.
That still translates, conservatively, to from a million plus to three
million plus people as active 419ers, their immediate families who know
where the money comes from and who directly benefit from it, and those
of their extended families who know where the money comes from and who
directly benefit from it.
Once again, to make it perfectly clear, we here at 419 Coalition believe
that anyone, anywhere, anyplace who illegally benefits from 419 operations
should be punished - jailed or otherwise disciplined - preferably starting
from the top down - and have their ill gotten gains repatriated to those
from whom they stole it. That's it. We have no quarrel with anyone else.
We're too busy here to quarrel with anyone else about anything else.
29 SEP 97
A recent posting in the soc.culture.nigeria newsgroup which is apparently
from a Tempo Magazine article titled "How Nigerian Fraudsters Duped Ghana"
states that the Government of Ghana was 419ed out of some $78 Million by
a Nigerian company "Union Electrik Nigeria Ltd." on a contract for the
development of Ghana's hydroelectric power stations and the refurbishing
of 44 power transformers.
If this is the case, the Government of Ghana's loss of $78 Million would
be the largest loss to date of any single 419 victim of which 419 Coalition
17 SEP 97
The Post Express newspaper from Nigeria reports on 12 SEP 97 in an article
titled "Tribunal Grants Businessman's Request to Attend Police Clinic" that
an ill detainee has been permitted on health grounds to leave the Ikoyi jail
and be placed in a Police medical facility.
The interesting part of this article is that this Nigerian and four others
have been held by the Government since 11 DEC 96 for 419ing an American-
based firm out of $51.8 Million Dollars. 51.8 Million Dollars!!
Those who question the magnitude of the Nigerian Scam, please take note
- 51.8 Million dollars from ONE victim - and of course, the Scam has been
running 10 years, is Global, and there are, conservatively, hundreds of
thousands to millions of victims, nobody knows for sure, but all agree there
are a LOT.
419 Coalition, of course, approves of the detention of this man and his four
confederates, and approves of the Tribunal's decision to allow him proper
But the Nigerian GOV reportedly has had this guy since 11 DEC 96, over
What 419 Coalition wants to know is WHERE IS THE MONEY? Have the Bad
Guys' assets been frozen and or seized? If so, where are they being held?
Has an accounting been made of the Bad Guys' assets? At home AND abroad?
And how reliable is it if it has been done? Etc. Etc......
And the Biggie - WHEN WILL THE VICTIM GET HIS MONEY BACK? WHEN? Will he
get it ALL back? Or just Some? And, if Some, how much? What's it doing
in the meantime? WHERE'S THE MONEY? That's what WE want to know.
16 SEP 97
As reported in the Post Express, a Nigerian newspaper, in an article
titled "Govt to Counter Western Propaganda on the Internet - Ofonagoro",
on 16 SEP 97, the Minister of Information and Culture of the Government of
Nigeria, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro, said through Mr. Patrick Etta, Director -
General of the Ministry of Information of the Goverment of Nigeria, in a
lecture called "Public Relations and Transition to Democracy in Nigeria"
delivered at the Cross River State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of
Public Relations (NIPR) that "The Federal Government [of Nigeria] plans
to use the internet to counter the negative reports propagated by Western
media about Nigeria...information centres [on the web] are to be opened in
strategic countries of the world...that some centres are now on the internet
...and that the Ministry of Information [of Nigeria] will be hooked up to
the internet by the end of the year."
Ofonagero added that the "propaganda [on the web] against Nigeria was
being spearheaded by a few unpatriotic Nigerians in league with some
willing foreign collaborators" (think he might mean 419 Coalition, folks?).
To the above, and in relation to the global problems with the Nigerian
Scam, 419 Coalition says AGAIN that all the money spent on Public
Relations, on the net or otherwise, would be much better spent by the
Government of Nigeria on Controlling 419 operations originating from
Nigeria and then there would be NO NEED for Public Relations efforts
which do Nothing to Address the basic facts underlying the problem.
9 SEP 97
The Adler Case ( see 27 AUG 97 and other earlier news items ) has gone
to Trial as scheduled on this date in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California with Judge Irma E. Gonzalez, District
Judge, Presiding, in Courtroom #13.
It is anticipated that the Trial will take up to 8 Days.
In another matter, it has come to 419 Coalition attention that the Central
Bank of Nigeria is reportedly making public announcements that it has Won
the Tei/Sorth cases in Missouri. It is NOT accurate that CBN has "won"
those cases. BOTH are still alive.
The Tei case was split from the Sorth case and dismissed in an earlier
ruling by the Judge, the Tei's are appealing that decision, and say, to
quote Yogi Berra, "It ain't over until it's over."
The Sorth case continues to move forward despite GOV of Nigeria efforts
to quash it, is currently tentatively scheduled for trial in FEB 98, and
is still very much alive.
Therefore, any announcements by CBN or anyone else that they have
"won" the Tei and or Sorth cases are, to put it politely, premature.
28 AUG 97
The Washington Post is reporting that three Laurel MD residents have
been found guilty of impersonating officials of the Government of Nigeria
and Nigerian organizations in 419ing businesses and individuals worldwide
of over $5 million.
According to US Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia, Christian Egwu, Hope Egwu,
and Chidozie Onyeknowu admitted to the crimes. The criminals have been
sentenced to 20-30 years in prison each and fines up to $2.5 million as
The investigation was conducted by the Secret Service's Washington DC Field
Office of the Nigerian Task Force. Good Job, folks!
27 AUG 97
419 Coalition has been told that the Adler Case is scheduled to go to
trial 9 SEP. In this case, as 419 Coalition understands it, Adler contends,
basically, that the Government of Nigeria owes him the money, nearly six
million dollars, he advanced in relation to a contract the Nigerian GOV
says was 419, and payment of the contract itself ( of a Very Large Amount,
at least $20 million we have heard though we have no firm data on that ),
and that the money should be paid him forthwith.
Adler says ( once again, as we understand it ) that this contract was
approved verifiably and repeatedly by several high officials of the GOV
of Nigeria in their official capacity, that they repeatedly assured him
it was legal and legitimate in their official capacity, and that therefore
he is due payment on the contract, including the advance fees paid in
relation to the contract.
Defendants named in the suit include: the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
a Sovereign State; Central Bank of Nigeria; Chief Abba Gabba Hen George;
C. Odibo; Balla Peters; Stanley Eke; Solomon Daniels; Paul Ogwuma a.k.a.
Paul Oguma; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Clement Victor Odozi,
Chief John Loisa; A. Ahmed; Major Usman David; Pascal Uzo; Ukpo Akpan
Chike Okonkwo; Alhaji Jubril Abdullahi; Andrew Ayomano; Edmund Odafe,
and Mallam Abubakar Zanni.
Central Bank of Nigeria in recent statements has said that there have been
ten lawsuits in relation to 419 filed against it globally ( cases pending
in Italy and Germany, for example ), that they have won five, and that there
are five to go including the Adler case.
Mahel Raseed ( Mahe Rasheed, M. R. Rasheed ), CBN's Director of Foreign
Operations, was also quoted by IPS in Nigeria.Com in a piece titled "Many
Fall Prey To The Perfect Scam" dated 8 AUG 97, as saying "We are disturbed
because the crime exposes the problems of law enforcement, macro-economic
instability, adverse publicity, ( Nigeria's ) bad image, and the erosion of
international confidence in Nigeria."
Rasheed is also reported by Reuter as saying on 10 AUG, titled "Nigeria
Warns of Growing International Fraud" that "There has been no case of an
innocent ( foreign ) victim who participated in the Scam" which ignores the
many "legal" versions of the Scam such as the Will Scam, and the Stiffing
of Goods and Services suppliers who have no effective recourse, variants
of the Scam, in which there is no basis at all for portraying the victim as
anything but a victim.
In relation to the Adler Case, Paul Ogwuma, the Governor of the Central
Bank of Nigeria, was deposed in Washington, DC for several hours last fall
by Adler's attorneys, from which interview he reportedly emerged from the
back, not the front, door of the law offices in which Adler's attorneys
deposed him. He was also, according to observers on site, visibly shaken
and requiring the assistance of individuals on each side steadying him on
emerging and while walking to his waiting chaufferred vehicle.
Adler has been waiting awhile for this case to come to trial, as the GOV
of Nigeria has fought it every step of the way. It will be good for all
parties to the suit to have their day in Court, win or lose. In the view
of 419 Coalition that is how the system is supposed to work.
And, in the event Adler should not prevail, the reader should note that
according to CBN's recent statements there are four more suits pending,
more may of course be filed at any time, and it Only Takes One Victory
for a plaintiff to "win" these legal wars for all and establish in a Court
of Law that high officials of the Government of Nigeria are 419ers. One.
25 AUG 97
Got a case in today where the Bad Guys ( one Alhaji Hassan Musa) just
tried to 419 a Public Library System in Ohio, unsuccessfully. Coupled
with the recent try against a Public School System, in Illinois, food for
thought, isn't it?
18 AUG 97
The Government of Nigeria really is a Hoot sometimes :) :)
There have been several recent announcements of upcoming media
advertising campaigns to alert the world on 419 ( see our menu item
Government of Nigerian Media Campaigns for our view on those, which
has not changed ).
They have also reportedly announced that they are gonna run a PR campaign
on the web, ie., that they plan to set up websites to counter the damage
being done to the image of the country ( Nigeria) by what the Minister
of Information reportedly described as the Malicious and Fraudulent Loading
of Disparaging and False Propaganda [on the web] ( Do you reckon he might
mean 419 Coalition, folks? :) :) ); they spend millions per annum on PR and
lobbying firms to improve their image worldwide; they also hire freelancers
and consultants to do the same, etc. etc. etc.
What a Hoot.
We here at 419 Coalition say the monies would be much better utilized in
Directly Fighting 419 Internally than in being used for External Image
You see, no amount of PR $$ can actually change the underlying facts
in this matter, so if the Nigerian Government truly wants to improve its
image, we at 419 Coalition suggest that the Nigerian Government put
its effort into Tangibly and Observably Changing Those Facts :) :)
419 Coalition would suggest, for example, that all this PR money be given
to Mrs. Waziri's Special Fraud Unit ( for example ) and that unit be given
Specific Instructions to arrest anyone, anywhere, in Nigerian GOV or out of
it, and immediately seize their assets, who is a 419er, starting with the
Big Boys and working her way down to the Small Fry, to report ALL Tangible,
Observable, and Verifiable large scale efforts made in that regard to the
GOVS of the World, and to initiate massive and verifiable repatriations
of 419ed funds.
News reports are Free, after all, no need for PR $$$$ so long as the
job is actually and verifiably getting done.
Now THAT would improve Nigeria's image more than any possible PR campaign
ever could, in the view of 419 Coalition.
And as to alerting the external world to 419 operations emanating from
Nigeria, we would suggest that the Government of Nigeria leave that
end to 419 Coalition, quite frankly we do a Much Better job at it than the
PR $$ will buy for them, and they don't even have to spend a dime on
419 Coalition to get us to do it, we're Free, and are quite Happy to
Continue doing the External Education job that we are already doing :) :)
Like said, the Government of Nigeria is a Hoot sometimes :) :)
10 AUG 97
Reuter reports that Central Bank Of Nigeria and Police have warned that
despite their best efforts Nigerians remained prominent in international
fraud. Mahe Rasheed CBN's Foreign Operations Director said that a $1
Million advertising campaign was being prepared to urge businesses to
be careful who they deal with.
419 Coalition notes that such advertising campaigns have been tried
before and that they have had no appreciable effect on 419 operations,
see "Nigerian GOV Media Campaigns" menu item on 419 Coalition main page.
We see, as yet, no reason to alter our analysis of Government of Nigeria
media campaigns given there.
Mr. Rasheed also said that "There has been no case of an innocent (foreign)
victim who has participated in the Scam."
419 Coalition begs to differ on this point, as the Nigerian GOV has once
again chosen not to address the many "legal" versions of the Scam in
which there is no question of victim as criminal or co-conspirator, and in
which the victim is merely a victim. These include the Will version of the
Scam ( which is used most often on charitable and religious groups), the
COD goods and services versions of the Scam, the Contract Assignment
versions of the Scam, etc. etc. Therefore, Mr. Rasheed is quite in error
on this point, as the United States Secret Service Task Force will confirm.
Mr. Rasheed also indicated that CBN returns over $1 Million a Year in
monies erroneously sent to it by foreign victims. 419 Coalition was able
to confirm that in at least one instance in 1996, CBN returned to Task Force
$186,000.00 of such funds. 419 Coalition wishes to commend CBN for this
and other similar actions in which funds are repatriated.
However, given the magnitude of Nigerian 419 operations, 419 Coalition
hopes that the trickle of repatriated funds ($1+ million in many analyses is
the estimated loss per DAY to Americans alone - not to mention all of the
rest of the world's losses) - becomes a flood more commensurate with the
magnitude of the losses suffered worldwide in this matter.
31 JUL 97
419 Coalition has received a report that the Nigerian Bad Guys have tried,
unsuccessfully, to Scam a Public School District in Illinois. It was
the Will Version of the Scam in which a "bequest" has supposedly been
left to the target - this is the version of the Scam used most on Religious,
Charitable, and Public Service organizations.
However, this is the first time of which 419 Coalition is aware that it
has been used on a Governmental or Quasi-Governmental organization like
a Public School District.
Ironically enough, the Scam attempt took place in Illinois, which is
represented in the US Senate by Senator Carol Moseley-Braun who awhile
back travelled to Nigeria on holiday as a private citizen and while there
visited with many High Officials of the Government of Nigeria including,
as we understand it, the Head of State General Sani Abacha.
Ah, guess there's no Chivalry among the Bad Guys - go figure :) :)
24 JUL 97
It has been reported recently in the Guardian ( a Nigerian newspaper )
on the front page and by other media that 5 million - that's right - FIVE
MILLION letters have just been returned undelivered to Nigeria by a
dozen nations, including US, UK, France, Germany, etc. for fraudulent or
nonexistent franking ( postmarking at place of origin ).
The Nigerian authorities say they have examined these letters and have
found that most of them are 419 letters ( big surprise ).
The Nigerian authorities also say that the return of the letters is due to
the anti - 419 efforts of the Nigerian Postal Service etc. etc.
419 Coalition wonders, in that case, how in Hades the letters got OUT of
Nigeria in the first place :) :) These letters were intercepted AFTER
they got to their country of destination, not BEFORE...
Now, if the Nigerian Authorities had stopped 5 million - or even 4 million
- or even 1 million - or even 100,000 of these letters Before they LEFT
Nigeria and had Traced the mailers and Arrested and Convicted them, now
THAT would be News :) :)
And, for the Half Fullers - even if NONE of these letters originated in
Nigeria ( time for a Chuckle Break ) that's still a Heck of a Lot of Letters,
and the Governments who bundled them up and sent them back haven't exactly
been collecting them since the Dawn of Time or anything :) :)
1 JUL 97
419 Coalition has received information that the Brit arrested for 419
in Nigeria and shown on Nigerian television was not, in fact, part of the
"clothing scam" as reported in soc.culture.nigeria but had been caught
up in a standard 419 operation.
The interesting thing about this ( besides the fact that he got arrested )
was that our information is that this individual approached Both the
British and US GOVs concerning the "proposal" he had received and was
told by Both GOVs that there was a very high probability that this was a
419 operation, and was advised by Both GOVs not to go to Nigeria about
this matter in any case.
But he went anyway. Which leads us to this Very Important Point:
THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA HAS LAWS AND DECREES ON THE BOOKS
AGAINST 419 AND MONEY LAUNDERING. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT THE
ENFORCEMENT OF THESE LAWS IS ABOMINABLE, WHAT THAT MEANS IS
THAT ANY FOREIGNER WHO GOES TO NIGERIA IN RELATION TO A 419
OPERATION IS SUBJECT TO ARREST BY THE NIGERIAN AUTHORITIES AT
ANY TIME AT THEIR WHIM.
ONCE ARRESTED, THERE IS VERY LITTLE THAT THE FOREIGNER'S GOV
CAN DO FOR HIM. THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT VIEWS MANY 419 VICTIMS
AS CO-CONSPIRATORS IN AN EFFORT TO DEFRAUD THE NIGERIAN GOV,
AND WHEN A FOREIGNER IS ARRESTED IN NIGERIA IT IS NIGERIAN LAW
THAT APPLIES IN THE CASE.
AND, QUITE FRANKLY, WE HEAR THAT NIGERIAN JAILS SUCK, SO DON'T
GET YOURSELF THROWN INTO ONE. DISCRETION IS BY FAR THE BETTER
PART OF VALOR IN THAT REGARD.
23 JUN 97
419 Coalition was recently able to assist representatives of Lloyd's
of London in a Medical Insurance Fraud case which was rather
Five Nigerian Expatriates living in the US decided to go back to
Nigeria on holiday. While there in Port Harcourt, they reported being
in an auto accident in which all were severely injured. They stated
they were rushed to Hospital by ambulance, and extensive medical
treatment was required by all. $400,000 was the amount of the claim
filed by the injured.
They submitted their initial claim to Lloyd's of London, their insurer
whose suspicions were aroused by, among other things, the $40,000
requested for the transportation by ambulance of the five across
town to the hospital. Lloyd's assigned an investigator to the case,
who asked the Injured for additional information, and who contacted
the 419 Coalition.
We told the investigator to expect Reams of documentation for all
the injuries, the treatments etc. ( including such things as cat-scans )
and sure enough, massive piles of information arrived, including
X-rays of the accident victims' injuries, detailed treatment schedules
etc. etc. and a copy of the Police report on the accident was very
Unfortunately, investigation revealed that these severely injured
expatriates had actually stopped - in the ambulance - on the way
TO the Hospital to file a police report on the accident ( which does
exist ). The time of the report, filed at the police station, is the
same time they were admitted into the Hospital, according to records.
Further investigation revealed that the Hospital did not even Have
much of the sophisticated equipment said to have been used in the
treatment of the injured, though there in the claim, on verifiable
Hospital letterhead, were the bills etc. for the use of same. etc.
Needless to say the claim was denied.
Additional investigation revealed that of the five accident victims,
after returning to the States, one was in jail for armed robbery and
two others were in jail for stealing credit cards. Nice Bunch, huh?
Please note that Insurance Fraud is not actually considered 419
per se, we report this matter only because 419 Coalition assisted
in this matter even though it IS out of our normal focus.
Insurance fraud is, of course, endemic worldwide and not in any
way limited to Nigeria, in fact it appears to be worse in Western
Countries like the US and UK than elsewhere.
16 JUN 97
A British national has been detained in Nigeria over alleged advance
fee fraud. He and his alleged Nigerian accomplice were presented
before Nigerian Journalists and were later shown on national TV.
Nigerian Law Enforcement authorities said the arrest was the result of
intensified efforts to stamp out advanced fee fraud.
The arrest comes at a time of increasing tension between Nigeria and
the UK over such matters as the refusal of the British to allow Nigerian
passenger aircraft to land in the UK and others.
The arrest is interesting in that to date Nigerian Law Enforcement efforts
have been unable to significantly impact the volume of 419 correspondence
coming out of Nigeria and that the number of arrests of Nigerian Locals in
their own bailiwick for 419 related matters bears no significant relation
to the massive amount of 419 activity in Nigeria evidenced by the US Secret
Service database of some 50,000 proven 419 phone numbers in Nigeria over
the last 18 months alone.
Additionally, recoveries and repatriations of 419ed funds due to any
efforts made by the GOV of Nigeria remains virtually nil. It basically
remains a one way flow of cash, folks - Cash Out of Everywhere Else in the
World and Cash In to the hands of Nigerian Bad Guys, though occasionally
the Law Enforcement agencies of the Rest of the World Do manage to catch
some Dirty funds in their jurisdictions and return them to those who have
been ripped off. But this is Not due to Nigerian Government efforts - if
one wants to Judge the Efforts of the GOV of Nigeria in fighting 419, we
here Strongly Suggest that the following criterion be used - FOLLOW THE
MONEY - which continues to go In to Nigerian Bad Guys - in Massive amounts
- and Rarely comes Out due to any efforts made by the GOV of Nigeria.
419 Coalition applauds any efforts made by the Nigerian Government
which result in the recovery and repatriation of fraudulently obtained
funds and continues to urge that All those who derive Illegal Financial
Benefits from 419 operations be prosecuted in Nigeria and elsewhere.
22 MAY 97
In The Post Express newspaper, published and distributed in Ogun, Lagos,
and other locations throughout Nigeria, in The Saturday Magazine feature
section of 17 MAY 97, Mr. Kenneth Ugbechie, Head, Science & Infotech
Desk writes that in all of Nigeria there are are "about 604,000 telephone
lines... [of which] only about 400,000 are connected with far less than
that in good condition."
The Post Express, and the above Feature article complete, titled "World
Telecoms Day Without Telephones," is also Online and available worldwide
on demand at URL http://www.postexpresswired.com
The US Secret Service Task Force, which has only existed in its current
form for the last 18 months or so, reports that it has compiled a database
of phone numbers in Nigeria proven to have been used for 419 operations
which is now approaching 50,000 numbers.
Given the above, the math would indicate that a minimum of 50,000 of the
400,000 phone lines connected in Nigeria are proven 419 lines, for a 1 of 8
ratio of 419 Lines to All Lines in Nigeria.
Even with the illegal connections etc. cited by Nitel, which serves to
drive up the number of lines available over reported figures, thereby
reducing the ratio somehat, the number of proven 419 lines increases on
a daily basis thereby increasing the ratio, plus, as above, 419ers have
Good Connections, so it is the opinion of 419 Coalition that the above 1
Dirty for Every 8 Lines ratio is 'close enough for Government work' at
this time, all things considered.
Or, for the "Half Full" folks out there, the Good News is that of every 8
phone lines in Nigeria, only 1 is used by the Bad Guys :) :)
12 MAY 97
Item: 419 Coalition has an unconfirmed report that West African,
specifically Nigerian, fraud has reached such epidemic levels
globally that controlling it is on the agenda for the G7 Conference
to be held in June at Denver Colorado.
Item: Sources have informed 419 Coalition that in UK, West African,
specifically Nigerian, fraud accounts for fully 50% of all fraudulent
activity in the UK, to the tune of 3.5 Billion plus Pounds per annum.
31 MAR 97
419 Coalition has recently been informed of a Contract Assignment
case much like Adler's - in which we understand that the victim vetted
the Assignment proposal with World Bank and IMF in Washington, DC,
and several US Banks before taking the plunge.
World Bank and IMF reportedly told the victim that everything was in
order, that he might have to pay a couple of bribes of the Wong Rokok
( small ) variety, but that was to be expected.
The victim las lost, in purchasing the assignment of contract and the
inevitable related fees due to complications, over a three year period,
over $20 Million USD. That's 20 MILLION DOLLARS.
The victim in this case is a European multinational with offices in the
midwestern United States and elsewhere. The matter came to 419
Coalition attention when a Consultant from Texas was asked to look into
this matter on behalf of the European Multinational and contacted us for
our analysis of the matter.
In this case, as in Adler, the office of Paul Ogwuma, Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria, is directly implicated.
This is the worst single case 419 Coalition has ever seen.
29 MAR 97
419 Coalition has received its copy of the decision in the Adler Case,
( see news item of 25 FEB 97 ) and confirms that the Government of
Nigeria has lost their appeal in US District Court, and that there would
seem to be only three possible outcomes remaining - 1. Nigeria appeals
to the US Supreme Court, which appeal 419 Coalition believes it will lose
based on the Decision of the US District Court; 2. The case, in which Paul
Ogwuma, GOV of CBN and other high officials of the Government of Nigeria
( and the Government of Nigeria itself ) are defendants, goes to trial on
the Merits; and 3. The Government of Nigeria settles the case out of Court.
14 MAR 97
Citing human rights reasons, lack of progress towards democracy,
business corruption, frustration with the inability of the Commonwealth
Action Group to get anything done about the preceding, and other reasons,
the Government of Canada today suspended diplomatic relations with
Nigeria, recalled its High Commissioner, and closed its offices in Lagos.
2 MAR 97
The Joint Task Force on West African Fraud, operated by the US Secret
Service, which specializes in the Nigerian Scam, has reported to the
419 Coalition that their database contains more than 40,000 telephone
numbers in Nigeria confirmed to have been used for Scam purposes.
The Task Force has only been fully operational for the last year and a
half. The Scam has been running, of course, for at least ten years.
Only numbers which have been Reported to the Task Force on hardcopy
and confirmed by the Task Force are included in the database. Numbers
which have not been reported cannot, of course, be included. Estimates
are that more cases - with their related phone data - go unreported than
The Task Force database is also US - centric in that primarily only cases
with a US connection are reported to the Task Force. Therefore, the phone
numbers used by the Scammers in cases without a US connection are, in
most cases, not reflected in the above data.
25 FEB 97
In the case commonly referred to as Adler vs Nigeria ( see 1996 News )
the US Court of Appeals in Pasadena CA held on 19 FEB that the Government
of Nigeria can indeed be held responsible for the millions Adler was 419ed
out of and thus that Adler's suit can go to trial.
The Adler suit named as Defendants, individually and severally as we recall:
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Sovereign State; Central Bank of Nigeria;
Chief Abba Ganna Hen George; C. Odibo; Balla Peters; Stanley Eke; Solomon
Daniels; Paul Ogwuma a.k.a. Paul Oguma; Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation; Clement Victor Odozi; Chief John Olisa; A. Ahmed; Major Usman
David; Pascal Uzo; Ukpo Akpan Chike Okonkwo; Alhaji Jubril Abdullahi;
Andrew Ayomanu; Edmund Odafe; and Mallam Abubakar Zanni.
As we understand it, A Copy of the Decision can be obtained from US
Court of Appeals, Request Copy of Decision, Case 965119, 125 S. Grand
Ave, Pasadena, CA, 91105 by making a written request for same and
Details are sketchy at the moment - 419 Coalition will report more precisely
on this matter when we have received our own copy of the Decision and any
corrections necessary will be made at that time.
As we recall, the original suit alleges, among other details, that Adler met
with Paul Ogwuma, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and John Olisa,
Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria at what was "clearly the
Central Bank of Nigeria."
Additionally the suit states that "...the entire premise of Nigeria's cons-
piracy-based merits defense falters on the indisputable facts that Mr. Adler
met with and was assured by the Assistant to the Minister of Finance, the
Minister of Finance, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,
the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and numerous others, all of
whom were officials of the current government of Nigeria, that this trans-
action was legitimate and sanctioned by the government of Nigeria."
Looks like Adler and the Government of Nigeria ( though it has tried
desperately to keep the case from being tried on the merits ) will both be
having their day in Court to argue the merits of the case. Regardless of
which side prevails on the Merits, 419 Coalition is pleased that the case
WILL be argued on the Merits - 419 Coalition believes in the Rule of Law.
19 FEB 97
In his presentation at the Association of Nigerians Abroad Conference in
Cleveland last year, the Coordinator said "In Indonesia it is called Wong
Rokok, in Thailand "Tea Money", in India Bakshish, and in Africa it is Dash.
Now, I have no trouble with that system by any name - when it operates
within normal limits, it may even actually be preferable, in some ways, to
our ( Western ) systems for getting things done. But in Nigeria, what we
have is a situation where Dash has been carried to its ultimate, which is
destroying the nation and hurting its people, both at home and abroad.
In short, what we really have in Nigeria is a case of Dash Gone Mad."
The following is from the 3 FEB 1997 US News and World Report article
titled "The Same Old Excuses - A Black American's Tough Prescription
for Africa's Ills" by Keith B. Richburg. It is an excerpt from his book
"Out of America" copyright 1997 by Keith Richburg, published by Basic
Books, a division of Harper-Collins Publishers Inc., which we think sheds
a little light on the above situation in a humorous, non-threatening way:
"So endemic is African corruption, and so much more destructive than its
Asian counterpart, that the comparison has even spawned a common joke,
which goes like this:
An Asian and an African became friends while attending Graduate School
in the West. Years later, each rises to become Finance Minister of his
country. One day, the African ventures to Asia to visit his friend and is
startled by the Asian's palatial home, the three Mercedes-Benzes in the
circular drive, the swimming pool, the servants.
'My God!' the African exclaims, 'We were just poor students before.
How on earth can you afford all this now?' The Asian takes his friend
to the window and points to a new elevated highway in the distance.
'You see that road?' he says, and then proudly taps himself on the
chest. 'Ten percent.'
A few years later, the Asian returns the visit of his of his old friend.
He finds the African living on a massive estate. There's a fleet of dozens
of Mercedes-Benzes, an indoor pool, an army of uniformed servants.
'My God!' says the Asian, 'How do you afford this?' This time the African
leads his friend to the window and points. 'You see that highway?' he asks.
The Asian looks and sees nothing, just an open field with a few cows.
'I don't see any highway,' he says. The African taps himself on the chest.
'One hundred percent!'
That joke was first told me by an American diplnmat in Nigeria who had
also spent time in Indonesia."
Or, as the Coordinator of 419 Coalition put it - a case of Dash Gone Mad.
10 FEB 97
419 Coalition just received the word from Official US GOV sources that a
Nigerian Bank returned 419 monies to a US victim. It seems the Task Force
and the US Bank through which the transfer went were able to "catch" the
monies before they were disbursed by the Nigerian Bank, which then sent the
monies back. This is a rather momentous occasion, as, to the best of 419
Coalition knowledge, this marks the first time that Any US victim has been
able to recover funds once they got to Nigeria.
419 Coalition Thanks the Nigerian Bank which returned the scammed money,
and we will post its Name as soon as we can. 419 Coalition believes in
giving Credit where Credit is Due.
22 JAN 97
Maryland and US authorities recently arrested half a dozen or so Nigerian
nationals who were running a large scale Credit Card Fraud (primarily)
operation in that State. What makes this case unusual and worthy of
special notice is that there are a couple of Murders associated with this
case. Nigerian Bad Guys have not, historically, committed crimes of
violence in the US, normally finding the Threat of violence to be sufficient
for their purposes when required. Let us hope that the murders in this
case were an isolated incident carried out by a Rogue Group of Bad Guys,
as if murder in the US is becoming a modus operandi on the part of the Bad
Guys, the Government of Nigeria will quickly find that any lingering reluct-
ance of the US Government to act against Nigeria on a Govt to Govt basis
will become nonexistent and the upgrading of Sanctions will be expedited.
This isn't Lagos, gentlemen.
3 JAN 97
State of Connecticut authorities recently arrested a group of half a dozen
or so Nigerian Nationals for grand larcency, credit card fraud, etc. The
group was apparently making its way from Massachussetts to New York City
with a bunch of fake credit cards, charging and cash-advancing as they went,
in amounts of up to $15,000.00 to $60,000.00. In some of the transactions,
they even knew the "mother's maiden name" key of the actual cardholder.
While the extensive Nigerian Credit Card Fraud and Drug Supplier Cartels
(see 1996 News), are Not the direct specialty of The 419 Coalition, we would
like to note that it IS revenue from 419 operations which provides much of
the "start up" capital required for Nigerian organized criminal operations.
And we would like to take this opportunity to Commend the Law Enforcement
Authorities of the State of Connecticut for their vigilance.
2 JAN 97
It has come to our attention that Adamu Mohammed, Special Adviser to Sani
Abacha on Drugs and Financial Crimes has "suggested that he made some
payments" to our Iceland - based friends at International Investigation
We were able to reach Mr. Njall Hardarson, President of IIS, on his cellular
phone as he tooled around the fashionable districts of Reykjavik in his late
model Rolls Royce Phantom, sipping champagne, who denied that IIS had
received any funds from either Adamu or the Nigerian Government - however,
Mr. Hardarson did say that he was looking forward to flying his Lear Jet
over to visit with us in the 419 Coalition offices later this month.. :) :)
It IS accurate that IIS offered to work with the Government of Nigeria to
help shut down 419 Fraud if the Nigerian Government was seriously inter-
ested in doing that - a commendable goal. IIS, at its own expense for
travel, etc., met with Adamu and his retinue in Dublin, Ireland in mid-1996.
As reported on the IIS site, the 419 Coalition site, and elsewhere on the
net, the meeting was a total bust with no positive results whatever - Adamu,
while acknowledging that the Government of Nigeria had an "image problem"
concerning 419 matters, didn't want the help of IIS in addressing the 419
problem. Neither IIS nor Mr. Hardarson has Ever received a "payment" from
Adamu or the Government of Nigeria.
419 Coalition advises the "Adviser" to stick to lying to his Own Countrymen
concerning Government of Nigeria "efforts" to fight the Scam, as the rest of
the World, at this point, merely finds his "twisting in the wind" statements
Ademu, in adressing half a dozen members or so of the High Level US Gov't
Delegation recently returned from Nigeria (see 1996 News) went On and On
about how "IIS had taken payments from them and then done nothing for them".
Members of the US Delegation, on their return, queried 419 Coalition about
the allegation. Interestingly enough, the next day 419 Coalition got a fax in
from Ademu Mohammed's assistant, A Y Shehu (see 1996 News) stating that IIS
had never received any payments from the Nigerian Government and that they
Never Said it did.
What happened here is that Adamu Mohammed got carried away with his own
rhetoric on the assumption that nobody would check his allegations - a
severe case of "Hoof 'n Mouth" disease, as the US Delegation of course Did
Check. Then when the Government of Nigeria realized that they had gotten
caught lying barefaced to the US Delegation Shehu got directed to attempt
to rewrite History - a not uncommon phenomenon for the Gov't of Nigeria,
and they usually get away with it.
Not this time, gentlemen.
Gotta admit though, that it was sure Good to be able to start the New Year
with a Big Horselaugh courtesy of our "friend" Adamu...a little Comedic
Relief, even in the most serious of matters, is Always Welcome - good for
what ails ya! :) :)
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