Thursday, June 22, 2006

Strange Occurances

Mr. Osakwe,

It is good to hear from you again, my friend. I am as well as can be expected I suppose. We just recently moved camp to a new set of ruins, deeper in the jungle and it has been raining almost non-stop since we got here. The professor and his research partner, Mr. Ward seem very excited about some of the finds they have been making but I must confess I am a little worried. The guides have seemed very nervous these past couple of days, staying very close to camp and talking among themselves. It's possible that they are worried there might be remnants of the Shining Path hiding out in the area but I find that hard to credit because that group was broken up years ago. It's possible that the ruins themselves are the cause. We have found evidence that they might be much older than we originally thought, and I must admit that lately we have been hearing a strange noise, like pipe music but have been unable to find the source.
In spite of the few difficulties we are making good progress and I sincerely hope that my current time frame will not prevent us from doing business.
Please assure your colleagues that once I get back to civilization I will make our project my first priority.
Thank you,


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Some Concerns

Lydia Richmond,

Thanks for your response to my mail. How are you today? I presume all is well at your end!

I just went through your mail and I appreciate your willingness in assisting us in this transaction. To be candid with you time is of great importance in a transaction of this magnitude. I really do not know if we can wait for you considering the time frame . You said it will take atleast a month before you get back home. I will discuss the issue with my colleagues and I will get back to you on what we resolved at.

I will keep you posted. Thanks and stay blessed.

Best regards,
John Osakwe.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Hook

Mr. Osakwe,

First let me express my eagerness to be working with you. I greaty look forward to exploring investment oportunities in the US.
Second, I feel that to develop a trust between the two of us I should tell you a little about myself. I am currently a graduate student at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusets. I am studying cultural anthropology under a truly brilliant man, Professor Randolph Carter. Unfortunately for our collaboration, the professor, a few of his collegues and myself are doing fieldwork in Peru. The professor and his collegues are cataloguing ruins near Machu Pichu and making some amazing finds. Professor Carter is a brilliant man but somewhat of a neo-luddite, he can't go within ten feet of an electronic device more complicated than a flashlight without the device failing in some way. That's why he brought me along. The University, for security reasons, wants the Professor to send his notes to the campus mainframe each day. This requires a sattelite phone and laptop, neither of which are things that Professor is able to opperate. So each day I type up his notes and send them to the department head, and sometimes get a little emailing in on the side. Since the sattelite phone is rather expensive we don't use it for anything else unless there is an emergency.
The bottom line is that, unfortunately, I will be unable to establish a new bank account for our collaboration until we finish our work here and return to Arkham, which won't happen for at least a month. My bank doesn't have online banking so I can't do it over the internet even if I wanted to.
I'm very sorry to have to start this relationship with bad news but I hope this doesn't mean we won't be working together.


Lydia Richmond

Saturday, June 03, 2006

An Eager Response

Dear , friend

Thank you for your response to my proposal and your willingness to assist us in this
transaction. Having discussed with my colleagues and deliberated on the way forward, I have decided to give you details of this transaction. But before proceeding to give you details of this project and the modalities for its conclusion, it is pertinent to address a very important issue, which if not properly tackled, could cause an impediment to the progress of this transaction. This issue is CONFIDENTIALITY".

We believe that its importance cannot be over emphasized, taking into consideration the very nature of this transaction. Very many people in my country and I’m sure also in yours, will do a lot of things to get their hands on the kind of money we are talking about so we must exercise all forms of caution.

Apart from this, the fact that its direct participants (i.e. we) are career civil servants who are still in active government service and would not want our image tarnished or jeopardized is most important. We have been given the kind of position people wait a lifetime to attain. On our part, we are totally disposed to maintenance of absolute confidentiality, and we cannot perform less.

We therefore ask you to equally adhere to this collective wish. Be rest assured that this project is risk free and fail proof to all intents and purposes.

Being members of the Contract Review panel(CRP), we are privileged to have at our disposal the necessary instruments required for the realization of this project. We are also the body empowered with the statutory responsibility of giving advice on all issues pertaining to previous foreign contracts payment. And as we have unlimited access to all past foreign contract payment files, if you follow our instructions religously, within the next 5-10 working days this transaction will be concluded and the money paid into your account. You must however understand that for our desired success to materialize, you must follow our instructions strictly and promptly.

We have the necessary contacts and have also made financial provisions to ensure that all possible bottlenecks at our end will be sorted. The way the contract was structured, the contractors were fully paid with 60% of the total contract sum as mobilization fees and this was used to conclude and commission the project.

The balance of 40%, which is what we are now trying to claim, was to go to their Nigerian counterparts as gratification as this was the usual practice at that time but due to changes in the political climate which led to a reshuffle in government, the parties involved in the transaction no longer had the necessary leverage to process the remittance of the excess amount outside the country.

Apparently this sort of practice was very rampant in my country at that time. Some people made a lot of money and some others could not conclude their transactions and thus a lot of dedicated funds have been lying idle in the foreign payments accounts at the Debt Management Department of Nigeria. Contracts of this nature are what the Contract Review Panel was set up to investigate and we the members of the panel, we have developed and perfected a process of getting some of these funds for ourselves.

Our good fortune is that we have been given the responsibility of deciding which claims are legitimate and which are not. You must understand that this kind of money can change many a mans life and we do not want this opportunity to pass us by. It is our hopes that you will be instrumental in assisting us achieve our dreams.

To commence this project, with your banking information, we shall put up a payment claims application to the Federal Ministry Of Environment (FME) issuing the mandatory fund release approval/recommendations in your favor prior to the remittance of the funds to your nominated bank account. We shall also register your company and pay the necessary taxes for this over here as required by law. All these shall be backdated. On paper,we shall ensure that it appears your company carried out the contract.

This is the most important aspect of the project because it is at this stage that the
all-important and vital fund release approval/recommendations from the Federal Ministry of Finance are issued. Once they are issued,it means that over 80% of the processes of the fund transfer have been concluded.

However, you can be rest assured that we have set up perfect machinery in motion to ensure that they are issued in your favor without fail. In fact the respective Directors-general in charge of the respective ministries responsible for the issuance of
these funds release approvals/recommendations have committed themselves to issuing these approvals.

From our enquiries so far, we were reliably informed that in accordance with foreign
payments regulations and guidelines (as promulgated in Decree 21 of 1979, reflecting
Nigeria Contract Law/Payment Act 2, Sub-section4-5 and as amended in September 1994),beneficiaries at the final stage of their contract payments are expected to come forward to the office of the Foreign Operations Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance of Nigeria for proper identification as the recognized beneficiary.

However, the “Provision Ordinance Act” on foreign payment guidelines permits beneficiaries to observe their final signing via any of the following options.


The Federal Government of my country in accordance with the Federal Ministry of
Finance(FMF) has a new provision in the constitution of my country, where by a foreign contractor that is unable to come to the office of the FMF here in Nigeria for
authentification and Verification on health grounds can be exempted and allowed to use any of their offshore Centers across the globe ,that is operational as at the time of request.


The new constitution also gives room for a contractor to get a legal representative, that must be a Federal Government accredited Attorney to sign on his behalf.


This option, you can apply for Non -Appearance.

From the above options I will want you to choose the one that will be convenient for you so that we can start working on that option immediately as you know we have limited time to conclude this project, once you indicate this I will prepare a text application you will use in making the application.

The FMF was set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to reconcile debts owed to foreign contractors, and remittance of such funds to the beneficiary’s nominated account upon signing the final fund release documents using any of the above options. This arrangement is for contractors who by circumstances beyond their control cannot come to Nigeria for the signing of the final fund release documents. On approval of the application by FMF,the fund will be transferred and confirmed within 72 hours after the endorsement exercise is completed. We will arrange to be with you after you have confirmed to us that the money is in your account for disbursement as initially stated,(see below).

(i)Contract sum = $27.3M US Dollars,
(ii)Nigerian partners = 70%,
(iii)Foreign partner (i.e. yourself) = 25%
(iv)Contingency/Expenses = 5%

We will be ready to share the money as soon as it is wire-transferred into your nominated account. However, if you decide to help us supervise our investment plan, we will appreciate this and discuss your payment for it. I dare to say that it is because of the unbridled corruption going on in my country that this project is possible. If we must succeed, then we must all summon the courage needed to bring this project to fruition. My colleagues and I have been working out the modalities for two years and all is in place to achieve our goal. You must therefore be ready to assist us hole heartedly.

Full audit report will normally be sent with the wire-transfer papers to your bank from
the FMF. This will handle source and application of the incoming money and explain all tax details to your revenue service. So you do not need to worry about discussing
with your bankers for now. At the right time I will ask you to inform them.


I assure you that if you maintain the required confidentiality, the project will be
successfully concluded. Remember that all calls to me must be direct. No operator assisted calls.

Please below is a specimen of application that I will want you to transcribe to your
company letterhead paper and fax back to me so that we begin processing of the funds to your account. Call me so that we can discuss further.

Best regards.
John Osakwe.

NB: Also note that the fax number 1 806 737 4621 is an American fax only number. Use this email address for all further correspondence.


To: The Group Managing Director
Federal Ministry Of Environment,
Central Business District,
Herbert McCauley Way, Abuja, Nigeria.

Attn: Dr. Imeh T. Okopido.

Dear Sir,


We refer to the above mentioned contract number, and wish to inform you that the
settlement of this bill has been due since November 1999.

We are hereby submitting the bill for immediate settlement. Due to the delay in the
settlement of this bill since 1999, we have been unable to meet with our obligations to
our bankers and creditors who financed the project. Please effect payment of the capital sum above, plus interest accrued, calculated at 10% per annum from the 4th of November 1999 to the date of final payment. Payment should be made by telegraphic transfer, through any of your first class correspondent banks in the United States of America or Great Britain.

I ............ President/CEO of ......... Hereby confirm that the Federal Ministry Of
Environment is yet to remit our total outstanding sum of Twenty Seven million Three
hundred thousand united states dollars only (US$27,300,000.00). Kindly remit the above
total amount in full via telegraphic/electronic transfer to our bankers below:

BENEFICIARY NAME_______________________________
NAME OF COMPANY________________________________
COMPANY ADDRESS_________________________________
TEL: ____________________________________________
FAX: ____________________________________________
NAME OF BANK: ___________________________________
ADDRESS OF BANK: __________________________________
ACCOUNT NAME: __________________________
ACCOUNT NUMBER: _____________________________
SWIFT CODE: ________________________________________
BANK TELEPHONE: ___________________________________
BANK FAX: _____________________________

Please expedite action on this matter, to enable us update our records with our Federal Ministry Of Environment (FMEnv) and meet our obligations to our Bankers and other creditors

Oh yeah, he wants me to give him my bank account number. Does he think I'm stupid?
You can already see how confidential this is.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hello Nigeria!

Dear Mr. Osakwe,

I find your offer very interesting. While I admit that large amounts of money would be very useful to me I'm afraid that I must insist on confidentiality.


Lydia Richmond

Greetings From Nigeria

I recently received my first NIgerian scam email. Well it might not have been my first, but it was the first to make it past the spam filter, so I figure I’ll let you all observe the nest of vipers I have planned for this guy.

Here is the original email he sent me. Seems almost legit.

From :The Desk of John Osakwe
Contract Review Penal (CRP)
Federal Ministry of Environment
Lagos, Nigeria
Internet Fax Number: 1 806 *** ****
Reply To: ***

Dear Friend,

Urgent Funds for Investment.
I am John osakwe, a member of the Contract Review Panel of the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv), Nigeria. I am contacting you to be our reliable partner/agent to assist us to receive and investment of Twenty Seven Million, Three hundred Thousand United States Dollars only into your designated bank account in subsequent investments in education, properties, agriculture, construction, software design and supply, or any business of your choice, to initiate a proper and structured relationship in your country.

You will be required to;
(1). Assist in the transfer/receive of the above amount in your designated bank account (virgin or existing account).
(2). Advised on lucrative areas for investment with a large yearly turn-over profit
(3). Assist us in the purchase of properties
(4). The fund is intended to be invested through you/your agency in the purchase of facilities and assets in your country.
(5). This transaction will result in you being paid a commission of 25% off the investment capital.
(6). The transaction desire absolute confidentiality and professionalism in the handling of this matter.

Please let me know what your response will be to an offer to receive investment funds in cash and if the above investment proposals interest you and you sincerely wish to advice and assist, I urgently want you to me the information as stated below so that we can commence the mutual beneficial transaction without delay and onward transfer of the funds into your designated bank account;

(1). Your Full Names and Address
(2). Your Telephone and Fax Numbers and if available
your cell phone Number.

You shall be given 25% of the total sum of US$27.3M for the services rendered as soon as the funds are confirmed in your bank account within or less than 14 days of the final commencement/take-off of the transaction/project. Moreover, our investment shall also be under your sole supervision since you know what to invest in making profits in your country. Your swift copy of your email should be forwarded to:***

Yours faithfully,

John Osakwe

- john osakwe

Oh, and if he doesn't like the email address I set up for him then I'll fall back on the one he actually sent the email to.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

New Computer, New Story

Hubbell was spinning. The great telescope was silhouetted against the stars, visible only as a void in the field of lights with the occasional flash from the sun hitting the mirror or solar panels at the right angle. It tumbled end over end. The paparazzi’s biggest camera ever. The zoom lens capable of catching the most intimate moments of the universe had been knocked from the hands of its photographers and was spinning out of control.
None of this could be seen by the naked eye of course. There were no cameras on Earth capable of getting footage of the telescope’s fall through space. Instead the t.v. sets in the astronauts’ pub showed a collection of live feeds from NASA’a control room. The control room was empty now and no one in the pub was paying any attention to the t.v. so there was no one to bear witness.
The pub itself was quiet, only a few small groups scattered among the table, talking quietly.
Hunched on a barstool, soundlessly spewing dire imprecations into his bourbon, Milton was the only person seated at the bar. His lips moved and the breath hissed in and out between his teeth as he ignored the t.v. and instead filled the air with a nearly visible cloud of bitterness and bile.
Milton was a round man. Not fat but more the kind of man that could have been described as broad, stocky or solid before he had been beaten into a slouching roundness by disappointment and dejection. His clothes were of good quality for all they seemed too big for him. Or perhaps he had shrunk inside them as they seemed to have been tailored for a bigger man, a firmer man. His hair was thin and receding.
The door to the pub opened and in walked Milton’s sharpest contrast. To call Graham Wellington tall would have been sufficient. At some point, be it six feet tall or eight, actual numbers no longer had any importance. The set of his shoulders and square jaw combined with the thrust of his cleft chin, broad chest and subconscious awareness of his hips served to make him seem not only bigger than he actually was but also bigger than anyone else around him. He was a man who eclipsed other men, who blocked out the sun with his presence.
His voice boomed to the far corners of the pub, “Practically panhandling! Honestly, what’s happening to this neighborhood? We’ve never had that kind of street trash hanging around.”
Out of Wellington’s shadow stepped a porcelain doll of a woman. Her skin so pale as to be translucent, her soft, thick sable hair and her green eyes inherited from the goddess of sunlit meadows in the deep woods.
Though her real name was Jennifer Porter everyone called her Jenny. But Milton called her Faye. A name that sounded like a breeze in the treetops, like snow falling, like an owl in flight. It fit her. Faye. She only ever looked small next to Graham Wellington.
Milton had asked her to marry him once. She had laughed it off as a joke. But he never had.
“You.” Wellington’s voice boomed out, “what’s your name? Pana, Panag. Whatever, Taco, you don’t belong in here.”
Milton’s silent monologue transitioned into a series of hisses and clicks as he clenched his hands around his drink. There was a lifetime in that name. However long he had tried to forget it Graham Wellington always brought it back. He studied the ice cubes in his drink.
“Are you listening to me Taco?” Wellington gripped Milton’s shoulder with a meaty hand and spun him around on the barstool. “You don’t belong in here, this is an astronaut bar.”
Milton’s drink had gone flying, missing everyone as it tumbled to the floor. He looked up at Wellington and said, “Then you should leave.”
“What?” Wellington laughed, “You’re delusional.”
“Am I?’ They’re taking away our eyes.” Milton gestured at the screens of empty Mission Control. “How will we be astronauts when they have blinded us?”
“You’re drunk.” Wellington said, his voice taking on an edge of meanness. None of his associates looked at the screens.
“Am I? First one, then another soon enough. Through budget cuts they will ground us and deny us our dream.”
“We all know what your dream is Taco.” Wellington snorted.
Milton’s eyes narrowed and he said sadly, “I dreamed of Mars.” And re-birth, he thought to himself, “A place we’ll never go.” He turned to Jenny, Faye, and said, “You don’t need him.”
“You think I need you?” her voice was smooth and soft as silk.
“You don’t need any if us. You’re better than anyone in this room. Especially him.” Especially me, his mind finished for him.
“All right.” Wellington snapped, “You’re done.” The bigger man grabbed him by the arm and shoved him out the door. “Don’t come back.”
Milton stumbled and fell to one knee on the rough pavement.
“Get thrown out of another respectable establishment?” a voice asked him.
“Not the first time, won’t be the last.” Milton replied, regaining his feet, not bothering to brush himself off.
“Are you trying to get thrown out of every bar in the city?”
“I’m trying to get thrown out of the city.”
“By getting thrown out of every single bar first?”
“Everyone needs a plan.” Milton turned to regard his existent friend. Moss had been a tall man once. He was still thin but was now more bent than anything. Stooped did not accurately describe the man who seemed to be all sharp angles and projecting joints. Another victim of NASA politics.
“You were supposed to meet me at Traffic Circle.” Moss said, sloping along next to Milton.
“You used to be able to see the stars from here.” Milton said.
“Last time I saw stars was when I slipped in the john and hit my head on the toilet.”
“Great Society.” Milton clenched his fists, “Thousand points of light my ass.”
“Last time I saw a thousand points of light I was on mescaline.” Moss said conversationally.
They walked the rest of the way in silence. The night streets were populated by the night people: the drunk, the desperate, the determined and the downtrodden. Milton and Moss arrived at Traffic Circle, just two more bodies washed up on night’s shore.
Traffic Circle was like any other dive bar, poorly lit, coated with grime and populated by those not desirable enough to get into the popular clubs. The only thing that set it apart was the real estate. The bar was next to one of the more troublesome roundabouts in the city. The bar also had a raised patio that overlooked the roundabout and this was were Milton and Moss made themselves comfortable.
They had worked their way though a couple of beers before they found the will to join the patio’s traditional entertainment. The patrons would line the patio’s railing and place bets on which car would make some kind of error in negotiating the traffic circle. When a car did make an error, and one inevitably would, it would be assailed with a chorus of insults and a hail of soggy pretzels and beer soaked napkins. Throwing the pint glasses was strictly forbidden.
As one car was making its second trip around the the circle Milton felt an unexpected surge of energy and bellowed, “I sometimes know how to drive!” The handful of pretzels he flung at the car described a graceful arc through the glare of a streetlight before disappearing from view.
Suddenly exhausted, Milton sat down, ignoring the compliments from the other participants. “That was a good one.” Moss said, sitting next to him.
“It’s all circles.” Milton sighed.
“What?” Moss actually seemed to be listening.
“Everything is circles. A predictable pattern that will describe itself through formulae.” Milton moved his glass through the air in an arc, “All things move in circles until something else intersects.” His glass thumped on the table.
Moss got distracted by another car and screeched at it, “Remove head from rectum and then drive!”
Someone turned to him and said, “That’s stupid, you stole that from a movie!”
“I did not!” Moss puffed up what chest he had and swayed up out of his chair.
“You did so! And a teenage chick flick too!”
“That’s a damn lie and you know it!” Moss pulled his fist back and tried to punch the man. Instead he missed and fell flat on his face. After picking himself up and giving his head a quick shake he said, “They stole it from me.”
Milton looked up as Moss and said, “In a static universe all things become spheres, circles when viewed from any angle. But the universe is not static and so things intersect.”
Moss squinted at him and eventually said, “I’m hungry, lets go grab something at the Pita Palace.”
“I can’t.” MIlton said.
“Why not?”
“They banned me for life.”
“I was always touching all of the straws.” Moss nodded, like this was the natural thing to do while MIlton heaved himself to a standing position. “You go ahead, I think I’m done for the night.”
“Oh come on Taco.” Moss threw an arm around his shoulders, “I could pick something up for you.”
“Milton. My name is MIlton.”
“I know. It would be easier if anyone could pronounce your last name.”
“Pana, Panag. Milton. Fine.”
Milton looked at Moss and said, “When I was little my mother told me animals came from Mars.” he sighed. “Good night Mr. Keeter.”
“Good night MIlton.”
Milton stopped at a convenience store and a bought a six pack of micro-brews on the way home. Five minutes after promising the clerk that he wouldn’t drink any more that night he opened one as he walked down an alley. Taking a long drink he stared intently at the place where a red star would have been if the pollution hadn’t been too thick. “I dreamed of Mars.” he said before draining the bottle. “Of footsteps on Mars.”
He flung the bottle at the side of a building. It tumbled end over end until it intersected the wall and shattered. The pieces sparkled in the light, a million tiny stars, and then vanished as they fell.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stop Bitching And Get On The Bus

If the bus is too far away then give these people some money.

Why? You might ask that. But that would prove you to be sadly ignorant of the current political climate in South Dakota. The South Dakota Legislature advanced a bill that would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion. This bill is entirely unreasonable, a reflection of that state's current government. The legislators refused to allow an amendment that would put the bill up to a vote by the people of South Dakota. They refused to allow amendments that would allow an abortion in the case of rape or incest. One legislator, sounding like he thought he was being very reasonable, said that they had included provisions for the life of the mother. Not the health of the mother, or the psyche of the mother. The life of the mother.
South Dakota's legislature would like to involve police, prisons and guns in forcing a minor girl who has been raped by a relative to bear a child.
Way to go.