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Upon clearing out my old e-mail, I came across an exchange I had with one of those Nigerian princes who are desperate to share their dead father’s estate with you, so long as you front some cash for the transaction. The whole thing still makes me laugh, so I thought I’d share it with you. I can’t take the credit for the ideas in my reply, as I’m VERY sure I borrowed them from someone, but here they are, in chronological order:

From: geofreysankoh
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Dear Friend,

Permit me to inform you that after reading your add in the net,i became interested in disclosing every thing about myself to you. I am interested in a long term business relationship with you.

I am the Son of late MR PAULS SANKOH, the former chief accountant to the Sierra-Leone gold coperation in kenama , who was assassinated by the RUF rebels during his visit to our village on November 6 2000.

Unfortunately our mother died of hypertension three week later here in Danane and before then my mother has already advised me and my younger Sister CECEILA to look for a foreign partner to transfer this fund and invest it abroad.

We inherited a total sum of $15 million US dollars, from my late beloved father.This money is urrently on deposit in a bank here in abidjan Cot D Ivoire.We will like you to come in as the foreign partner to our late father and help us get this money transfered to your account in your country where it shall be invested under you as the caretaker. You shall also assist us secure visa to come and visit your country where we shall continue out education which was stopped by the war.

Now that we are in Abidjan and verified the deposit,we need your assistance to help us move this funds out for investment in your country as we can not invest here due to its nearness to our country and the war.we ask you to scout for a valuable and lucrative business , so that we can invest wisely.

We have in mind to give you 10% of the total sum of $15 million USD , and 5 % for any expenses which you will make in course of this transaction, fax messages,phone calls air tickets etc. By this mail you are now requested to arrange on how we can move the fund quickly to your account in your country for investment.

Awaiting for your urgent response.

Best Regards
Geofrey and sister

From: me
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Dear Geofrey Sankoh,

I am replying in regard to the BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP that you have sent me today.

First of all, I want to relay to you how saddened I am to hear of what has befallen your Father, Mr. Pauls Sankoh. While I never heard of him before, as I do not generally keep up to date on the affairs of Sierra-Leone, your letter left me with little doubt that his was a career filled with success and achievements. I’m sure Mr. Sankoh’s plight will find many sympathizers among the honest people of your great nation.

As I have stated, I do not follow the events in your part of the world too closely, but from what I did hear of Sierra-Leone, the events detailed in your letter do not surprise me in the least. It is outrageous that such a horrible injustice can take place at the dawn of the Twenty First century.

But I would like to discuss your proposal. It could not have come at a better time. You see, just last week, I have received a confidential letter from Congo. It was from a man named C.J. Todescu, who is the Nephew of Dr. H. Broneida, the recently Retired Leader of the Freedom Fighters of that country.

This man’s letter explained how after his Uncle’s exile there is a significant amount of money being sought by the Dr. Broneida’s enemies in Congo. It then went on to ask for my help in moving the money (a total of EIGHT MILLION – $8000000 U.S. Dollars) out of Congo and into my account, promising to pay me a percentage of the sum as compensation for my part of the operation.

In his letter, C.J. Todescu requested complete secrecy, so while I have shared this information with you because you seem to be in a very similar situation, I am sure you will appreciate the need to not share this highly confidential information with any of your other contacts.

I was quite ready to offer C.J. Todescu my assistance with the transfer his Uncle’s money when I got your letter. You see, I have performed poorly at my job this year, and did not receive a yearly bonus from my employer. Therefore, I believe that if I were to transfer a large amount of money (even as much as TWO MILLION TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND – $2,250,000 DOLLARS, the amount your are proposing to move), the authorities would simply believe this to be my bonus and it would not raise eyebrows or trigger any red flags.

In truth, initially receiving your letter within mere days after getting C.J. Todescu’s, I was a little skeptical as to the honesty of your claims. However, after thinking about it a lot yesterday, I have come to realise that this is an indicator that the situation in countries like Sierra-Leone and Congo is much less stable what is portrayed by our government and media. This deception of the masses is outrageous and I for one will write letters to various people demanding it come to a stop.

However, the current situation represents a bit of a dilemma for me. You see, while I would be happy to acommodate you both, I do not want to run the risk of detection by both the Congan Security Force and their counterpart in Sierra-Leone, as such risk would put all parties in excessive (and in my eyes – unacceptable) jeopardy. So it is after long hours of being torn between caution and compassion to both your causes, that I have decided that I dare risk accepting only one of the offers.

Do not worry however, while C.J. Todescu’s offer is more lucrative to me financially, I firmly believe that in such situations, financial gain must take a back seat in favor of ethics and integrity… Therefore, my decision in this matter has to be made primarily based upon the seriousness of your situation, as well as that of Dr. Broneida’s Nephew. I would appreciate you getting back to me at your earliest convenience to let me know why you, and the estate of your esteemed Father are more worthy of my aid than Dr. H. Broneida. Also, in finding me, you have demonstrated that you are a man of many connections, in your own country as well as abroad. If through your associates in the information gathering sphere you come upon any information leading you to believe C.J. Todescu to be disingenuous or not worthy of my help, I am sure you will relay such information to me with all expedience, as it will greatly benefit your own cause.

I eagerly await to hear back from you with the pertinent information, and would like to assure you that I approach our dealings with all the secrecy and gravity that the situation requires.

Your Friend.

From: geofreysankoh
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Dear Friend,

Good evening and thank you so much for your quick respond to our request. firstly, i and my sister are saying a big thanks to you for your words of encouragement and for been open to us, really we have made up our mind to live the rest of our lifes with you after this transaction.

Our situation here needs urgent attention because we are surffering here residing in Abidjan welfare and refugee center and for more than five months now the ivorean government has not been taken adequate attention to us in their welfare center due the political problem that befall them recently. The reason why we contacted you is this since then we have been going to the bank for the release of this money i and my sister the bank refused because of the agreement they had with our late father in which our late father made it clear to the bank that the money belong’s to his foreign business partner and that is why we needed your assistance to help us out by standing as the foreign business partner to our late father talk to the bank concerning the release and transfer of this money to your account.

All the documents issued to our late father is with us we can send them to you because we don’t have any other option . we really want to leave this country and come over there to live a good life and further our education.

We will glad to hear from you ,

Geofrey and Sister.

From: geofreysankoh
Friday, June 20, 2003

Dear Friend,

Good morning to you. i have been wondering why you have not replied to my mail since two days now. are you still willing to assist us?please kindly indicate your interest now for we are suffering in this country we need an urgent assist so that the money can be transferred into your account for us to leave this country.

Waiting for your immediate response.

Geofrey and Sister.

From: me
Friday, June 20, 2003

Hello again,

I am sorry for not writing sooner, but a temporary delay in production caused me to make a business trip to a Las Vegas ranch to sample some products and bring back some associates to help with the production.

Let me also inform you that I feel great sorrow for the loss of your father.� I had heard many news stories on him and he was a great man.

May I be so bold as to say that I would do anything to help you in your quest as my father was also murdered.� Although he was not a chief accountant and great man such as your father…� My father was a salad tosser and he was stabbed and killed outside of a liquor store.� I miss him very much as you must miss your father.

Please inform me of what I must do to help you in this business transaction.��

Please write me back with a solution to your problem and I will help.

Your friend.

From: geofreysankoh
Saturday, June 21, 2003

Dear Friend,

Good afternoon to you. you do not reply fast to our mail is anything the matter?please we want to hear from you now.As we are suffering here and we want you to do anything within your reach so that we will leave this country and further our education.

Geofrey and the Sister.

From: me
Monday, June 23, 2003

Dear Geofrey,

I apologize for not replying sooner, but I had not had an opportunity to check my email the past couple of days.�My husband has been sick with circulation problems causing him to swell in size and we need money to get medical treatment.� We have many credit cards with high limits in which to charge money to, but only $8,500 in cash and his medicine and doctors will cost over $20,000.

Please find a way for us to work out this transaction.�As god is my witness I will forever be indebted to you. I told my husband about this great business deal coming to us from Africa.

The only thing I don�t like about Africa is abundance of machetes.� I have this chronic fear of ordering a Big Mac at the local McDonalds at some city in Africa when all of sudden the guy in the back hacking up fries with a 24 inch machete decides I need to make a donation to his Special Sauce club, jumps over the counter and hacks my arms off so I can�t stop him from taking my money and pants.� I lose control of my bladder and run out the door and down the street, but my balance is off because I don�t have any arms and I fall to the ground.� I can�t break my fall so I hit face-first on the black-top which grinds my nose and lips totally off.� I end up surviving and travel back to the US where I spend the rest of my life working in the primate section of the Chicago Zoo while routinely being slapped down by the apes and teased because they have fingers and I don�t.�Stupid apes.�

I must take a business trip tomorrow, but I will return Sunday. Let me know how you feel about all of this.� We need to be conscious of each other�s feeling as we progress in our adventure.� And email any documents to me.� I would like to look them over.

Your friend.

Editor’s note: For some reason, I never heard from them again….

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