26 January 2004

Book 'em Obasanjo! - A Nigerian Scam King Jailed

Abiola of Foreign Dispatches reports the incarceration of one of the more notorious of the Nigerian scam artists.
Ever wondered who the real sources of all those 419 letters you received were? Here's your chance to learn about just one such individual, who goes by the name Fred Ajudua. It turns out he's actually been clapped in jail, which goes to show that Obasanjo can get the the odd thing right now and then. How astonishing it is to learn that Fred - the one and only, the man of the 10-car motorcade, the man of the multi-page spreads in Ovation magazine, the "businessman" so renowned for his exploits that he became known only by his first name, like a Nigerian Cher or Madonna - is sitting in a jail cell in Kirikiri, like a common thief!
After quoting much of the longer story on AllAfrica.com, Abiola concludes:
A lot of nice-sounding fluff, but fluff nonetheless. Still, if there's one thing this article makes clear, it is that the conmen behind these 419 letters are by no means all as dumb people think they are. Ajudua is a crook, but he's no dullard, and neither are most of the other 419 experts I've encountered in Lagos. If those pleading letters from Mrs. Sese-Seko and Mariam Abacha are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, consider that these errors were put in intentionally, to lull the gullible into a comforting sense of superiority over those dark-skinned dummies who can't find a way to get $26 million out of the country without the help of clever white men like you, Joe Blow, sitting in your la-z-boy in Peoria, Tx; though this story doesn't mention it, the reason for Mr. Ajudua's arrest was his defrauding of one greedy Dutch genteman of the grand sum of $1.7 million dollars.
Of course, Fred is now teaching law in prison. "Giving back to the community," I'm sure he would say.

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