Nigeria - 419 Coalition 1996 News on Nigerian Scam / 419 Operations

***************************** NOTICE (15 JUN 2007 and Continuing) It has come to our attention that this page on our site has been given as a Link in 419 solicitations sent out by some silly 419ers. The intent of the Link is to give "credibility" to a "money recovery" (Recovery 419) scam. If you have been referred here by someone offering to recover money stolen by 419 scammers; or saying that you are entitled to share in a distribution of monies recovered from 419 scammers etc., then that is a scam. We thank our colleagues at Fraudwatchers.org for bringing this matter to our attention. The 1996 News starts below. ******************************** 5 DEC 96 Item: In the interest of Fair Play we wish to report a recent call 419 Coalition received from a Canadian firm. The firm stated that the Nigerian Government had recently paid them 1/2 of the monies due on a contract performed in the mid - 80's, less the income tax due on that contract and their attorney's ( in Nigeria ) expenses incurred to get the monies. The firm was quite pleased, even though the payment was a decade late, as we understood it, and fully expected to receive the other half of the monies due them before Christmas 96. The firm also endorsed Paul Ogwuma, Governor of CBN, as a reliable International Banker. We offer the above with only this comment: We continue to recommend that individuals and firms contemplating doing business with Nigeria take note of THE FIVE RULES FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH NIGERIA as stated on the 419 Coalition Main Page and make their decisions based on All the data on hand, Pro or Con, in deciding Go or No Go. It is NOT the function of The 419 Coalition to dictate how Anyone makes their Business Decisions, nor would we Presume to do so. Addendum: The Canadian Firm mentioned above ( a chemical firm out of Edmonton ) also promised to fax us material to back up what they said, but despite nagging them by email and voice we have yet to receive it. Item: Pursuant to the recent "Presidential Decision Directive #42 concerning money laundering by President Clinton, a senior US Delegation is travelling to Lagos on 8 DEC. The main focus of the trip will be money laundering, but the Delegation will also be prepared to engage the Government of Nigeria comprehensively and constructively on a broader agenda, seeking progress in areas of narcotics trafficking, all forms of financial crime, counterfeit and altered documents, Immigration Benefits fraud, trafficking in persons and contraband, corruption, and violent crime." ( US State Dept letter 26 NOV 96 ). State, Commerce, the Secret Service, FBI, Customs, Immigration, and Treasury (FINCEN), among others, are among the United States Government Departments and Agencies represented in the Delegation. To assure that the Delegation had the African view before departing, State asked the Trans- Africa organization to contact the leading African and Nigerian Organizations in the US to be briefed in from their perspective prior to its departure, said briefing held at the State Department 6 DEC 96. Heading up the Delegation will be Jonathan Winer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Law Enforcement and Crime in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. A summary of his testimony on white collar crime in Nigeria before the US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, on 11 SEP 96 is given below in an earlier news item. The 419 Coalition says, to mix metaphors, "Give 'em Hell gentlemen, and Don't Take any Wooden Nickels." Item: A. Y. Shehu, Assistant to Adamu Mohammed the Special Adviser to Abacha on Drugs and Financial Crimes ( see previous items for more on both men ), recently called our colleagues at International Investigation Services ( IIS ) three times in one day demanding that The 419 Coalition Site be shut down or he "was gonna sue" us. Our reponse was "Go right ahead, if you're feeling Froggy then Jump" and the reader will notice our Site is still up. Of course, we also pointed out that in the event of a suit against us by Shehu ( or anyone else for that matter ) in US Courts we intend to call as witnesses Special Agent Jim Caldwell of the United States Secret Service Task Force and about a dozen of his colleagues; United States Justice Department Attorney Nicole Healy and about three of her colleagues; United States Department of State representative Jonathan Winer; and others, all US Government experts on 419 operations. We also indicated we'd call as witnesses about 100 US 419 victims to give testimony in addition to the preceding US Government experts, plus experts on 419 operations from half a dozen or so Nigerian expatriate organizations. Haven't heard anything more about the threatened "lawsuit" since. Item: We have an unconfirmed report from a retired member of the Intelligence Community that there are not less than five International Terrorist type organizations using Nigeria as a safe haven, that these groups are using 419 operations, in part, to capitalize their operations, and that several of them get the balance of their funding from arms-running operations - mostly into Chad - weaponry purchased mostly in the US through UK Blinds. As noted above, The 419 Coalition has been unable to obtain independent confirmation of this report, so it must be classed as Rumor, not as fact, but nevertheless food for thought.... Item: 419 Coalition just received its first conclusive report of a Scam Prospect whose contact and mailing data were obtained from the Net. We have also noted a couple of "invest in Nigeria" sites up on the net of late, which include the opportunity for foreign investors to "buyback" Government of Nigeria Debt at a premium rate of interest paid to the investor, and also offering investments in various Nigerian Banks which are Demonstrably Dirty and in fact are on the "List of Nigerians Responsible for Failed Banks and Financial Institutions" Culled From: New Nigeria Forum (UK), Nigeria Now, "The Truth Behind Abacha's Anti-Corruption Crusade" June 1996 edition. To which 419 Coalition says that is is becoming obvious that the Bad Guys are trying to figure out how to use the Net to expand Nigerian Scam operations, and we again URGE EVERYONE TO READ "THE FIVE RULES FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH NIGERIA" FOUND ON THE 419 COALITION MAIN PAGE before deciding whether or not to invest in or do business with Nigeria no matter from WHERE the business or investment proposal originates. 24 OCT 96 Item: This month Attorney General Janet Reno announced 40 some arrests in the dismantling of a big-time international drug cartel. The arrests were due, she said, to unprecendented cooperation between Thai, Pakistani, UK, and US authorities. Those arrested were primarily Nigerian women. The 419 Coalition has asked the US Government to explore connections between the drug cartel and the 419 operations which often capitalize such organizations. Item: This month the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Paul Ogwuma, was in Washington, DC for an international banker's conference. While he was here, the Attorneys in the Adler Case ( see earlier news items ) deposed him regarding that matter. A process server in the Quelley Case ( similar to the Adler Case ) attempted to serve him a subpoena to be deposed in that matter also, but Ogwuma's bodyguards reportedly attempted to run the man down with vehicles to prevent him from serving the papers. Ogwuma's presence here produced vociferous demands for his arrest and prosecution under the RICO Act and other charges but our understanding is that the US authorities have decided to let the Civil Cases run their course first before taking direct actions in this matter. Item: Anti - 419er riots were recently reported from the city of Kano in Nigeria. It appears that local Bad Guys kidnapped the son of a respected citizen, were paid a very large ransom, but the boy was found dead in the trunk of a car nevertheless. The People of Kano then rioted and began burning the houses of the wealthy who had no apparent means of support or income, many of them suspected 419ers, the occupants of those houses fleeing for their lives. Several dozen houses were reportedly burned. The Nigerian Government reportedly had to call in troops and institute a curfew to quell the riots. Item: West Africa Magazine in its 29 JUL - 4 AUG 96 issue in its piece titled "Nigeria and the Advanced Fee Fraud Scam - 419" and a companion piece titled "Ethical Business - Nigeria" both written "By A Special Correspondent" restated the Nigerian Government standard line in this matter, including the standard victim bashing, the denial of Nigerian Government involvement, the restatement of unenforced decrees and laws etc. concerning 419 and money laundering, the recitation of all the Committees and Agencies formed to "do" something about 419 over the years etc. etc. For those interested in researching the Government of Nigeria Position in this matter, a good resource. We'd have found the piece much more interesting if they had seen fit to print the name, title, and qualifications of the anonymous "Special Correspondent", but c'est la vie. Item: 419 Coalition associates are seeking data on Ademu Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Head of State and Commander in Chief ( Sani Abacha ) on Drugs and Financial Crimes. Ademu Mohammed is reportedly a close personal friend of General Abacha and is the Boss of A Y Shehu ( see below ), who is his assistant. If you have any information on Ademu Mohammed, please send it along to 419 Coalition. 17 SEP 96 The House of Representatives ( Congress ) International Relations Africa Subcommittee had a Hearing on "Nigerian White Collar Crime" 11 SEP ( as you know, the Senate Foreign Relations Africa Subcommittee had a similar hearing a few months ago ). Representatives from Justice, State, Commerce, and the Secret Service Task Force testified before the Committee. Here are highlights of what each said: Mark Richard for Justice - "The Nigerian Government has never extradited to the US any individual charged with committing a financial crime...nor have Nigerians been prosecuted for advance fee fraud or related money laundering offenses in Nigeria. Thus, Nigerians who commit these offenses can operate in their own country with relative impunity...Advance fee fraud has permeated the few functioning institutions in Nigeria, including the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Department of Justice has...produced a manual for federal prosecutors outlining strategies for investigating and prosecuting [419 and other Nigerian white collar crime] offenses." Sally Miller for Commerce - To get verifications on Nigerian companies & to check them out etc. "call 1-800 -USA-TRADE" which will "provide you with the number of the US Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center (EAC) nearest you." You can also get in touch with the Nigeria Desk at the Department of Commerce, fax 202-482-5198 for "help in determining the legitimacy of a business proposal." Jonathan Winer for State - "We will make certain that the Nigerian Government understands that the American government expects concrete and positive action" [on 419 fraud, drugs, and other white collar crime]. State promotes international efforts to combat Nigerian crime, including "a joint demarche, initiated by Department of State, complaining about 419 advance fee scams, presented by 39 countries jointly to the Nigerian Government...We have seen little effort this year by the Nigerian Government to enforce its money-laundering decree...the Central Bank of Nigeria...offices have been used to commit fraud...it is widely believed the corruption and criminal activity [in Nigeria], especially global and regional financial fraud, are fostered by...the Nigerian elite...[who] have links to ranking Nigerian Government officials." Michael C. Stenger for Secret Service - "It is clear that Nigerian organized crime must be worked as a whole and not as individual pieces...it should be noted that ...advance fee schemes emanate solely from within Nigeria ...investigations indicate that...these institutions [CBN and other Nigerian Government] are involved in laundering of proceeds derived from Advance Fee Frauds and the trafficking of narcotics." To report receipt of fraudulent business proposals from Nigeria, fax the Secret Service Task Force at 202-435-5031. 22 AUG 96 The August issue of Spotlight Magazine ( New York, US ) contains the best and most complete print article and analysis of the Scam we have seen to date ( written by Carol Vinzant ). It replaces the Asia magazine articles of DEC 1995 in the the #1 spot, though the Asia article remains excellent and must reading on the Scam. The Spotlight article minces no words concerning Nigerian Government involvement in the Scam and names Paul Ogwuma, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as a Scammer. Back issues of Spotlight are US$3.00 each plus shipping and handling. The main phone numbers for Spotlight are 914-381-4740 Voice; 914-381-4641 Fax; and the Subsciption Department ( this is where to call ) is 914-381-4812 Voice. Get 'em while they last. In other news, 35 Scammers detained in Nigeria last month with the help of the Secret Service Joint Task Force on West African Fraud remain in custody, and it is our understanding that the cases against them are very strong. Both 419 Coalition and the Task Force are carefully watching what happens with the 35 remaining detainees... Item: Sources have informed us that A Y Shehu, late of the abortive Presidential Task Force on Trade Malpractices under the Babangida Government, and currently Assistant to Ademu Muhammed, Special Adviser on Drugs and Financial Crimes, is the "front man" for one Godwin Dabo, a "well known crook and trickster" who used to publish "The Broom" a Lagos daily. However, Mr. Dabo attempted to burn the candle at both ends, apparently, for he is under detention ( whatever that means ) and has been for awhile as we understand it, for daring to "muckrake" the Gov't while being a bad guy himself ( the double ended candle ). Another item: The unofficial word from the US Government is that, aside from addressing the Scam at a law enforcement level, "there is a much bigger ball getting ready to roll," and that the Scam, as well as "Nigerian Organized Crime as a whole" is "receiving a great deal of attention and at pretty high levels of the [US] Government." We hope so. Item: The Adler case in San Diego, in which Adler is asking for a multimillion US$ judgement against the Nigerian Government severally and Paul Ogwuma, Governor of CBN, and other officials individually, is moving steadily towards a Default Judgement in favor of Adler, as Ogwuma and others have defied US Federal Court orders to appear in relation to this matter, and the stalling tactics of the Nigerian Government's attorneys are about exhausted. Item: In the Tei case in US Federal Court in St. Louis, which is similar to the Adler case, Ogwuma and other Nigerian Government officials have also been ordered to appear, the appeals of the Nigerian Government attorneys notwithstanding. Finally, The 419 Coalition continues to fight on a case by case basis, as the Scam continues unabated. We're currently advising on not less than six sting operations ranging from the US to Australia. 23 JUL 96 The Joint West African Task Force went to Nigeria and with the cooperation of the Nigerian Police Federal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) 43 "419ers" were detained by the Nigerian authorities. We have asked the Task Force to inform us of all convictions ( if any ) and forfeitures ( if any ) that are obtained in any of these cases if and when they occur, and will revise our analyses of Nigerian Government involvement in 419 operations in accordance with the outcomes - if warranted. On another matter, we ask you for any 419 related data you may have on Mr. Paul Ogwuma, Governor of CBN so that we may turn it over to the appropriate United States authorities. Please email the data to alphae@rica.net. Over the last two years, Mr. Ogwuma has been named as a respondent in not less than two 419 related lawsuits filed in Federal Court in the United States. There is sworn eyewitness testimony from several of the plaintiffs that they met with Mr. Ogwuma in his offices at CBN, Mr. Ogwuma's identity in these meetings being indisputable. Additional sworn testimony states that they were able to call CBN at verifiable CBN numbers, ask for, and speak with Mr. Ogwuma. They were also able to pick a verified photo of Mr. Ogwuma out of a photo lineup here in the United States and identify him as the Ogwuma they spoke with at CBN. And there is more, of course. The Unites States Government has been requested to indict Mr. Ogwuma in Unites States Federal Court for racketeering under the RICO Act, among other potential charges. 15 JUL 96 We thank the Association of Nigerians Abroad for inviting us to give a presentation at the First International Conference on Nigeria to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, 12 - 14 JUL. At the invitation of the Nigerian Government, our associated organization, International Investigation Services, met in Dublin, Ireland with Ademu Muhammed, Special Advisor on Drugs and Financial Crimes, and others, including A Y Shehu, Secretary to the Advisor. The meeting was, at best, inconclusive - more of the same old, same old, in our view. 419 Coalition was puzzled my Mr. Shehu's presence, as, under the Babangida Government in 1993, he held the position of Secretary - Task Force on Trade Malpractices, and issued through official channels ( the Nigerian Consulate in New York ) a report sent directly to 419 Coalition in a given case as "proof" something was being done about the Scam, but when we followed up with the Scammee, we were informed in no uncertain terms that the report was an outright lie, and in fact that the Nigerian Government had done absolutely nothing for them in relation to the Scam, and that the claims made in the official document were false. We came to the conclusion that Shehu was at least a Scam cover- upper and that he was possibly an active Scammer himself. Accordingly, it was rather disconcerting to see him turning up again in 1996 in essentially the same position with the Abacha government's primary "Scam-fighting arm." When he was shown at Dublin, in person and in private, the hardcopy evidence we have on him, he became visibly distressed and started to babble. However, since he has returned to Nigeria he seems to have recovered his poise. We are interested in all additional information any of you have on A Y Shehu, including salary data, lifestyle, friends, associates, etc. Please email the data to 419 Coalition at alphae@rica.net. In other matters, over the last quarter 419 Coalition has saved potential victims from the US and South Africa, partial victims from Thailand, Indonesia, and Spain ( among others ), stung a Scammer clearinghouse in Georgia, US, and is working on several others, provided data for pieces on the Scam by BBC radio and Spotlight Magazine ( among others ), and has come up on the net with our own website.

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