From a Kindly Contributor in New Zealand:
When I received correspondence from the Lads posing as Mrs Sese-seko, I decided to pose as exiled Colonel Miguél Dematei Ugarte, fugitive from Argentina's vicious "dirty war" of 1975-84 in which thousands of people disappeared.
After a while the Lads took fright, I think, faced with two things:
a.. Colonel Dematei's poor English
b.. The implied threat of Argentine heavies who operated torture chambers and murder squads on their trail.
It helps too, that I speak pretty good Spanish....
ORIGINAL SCAMMY LETTER FROM "MRS SESE SEKO": "Can you assist?"
Date: Sat, 03 Aug 2002
FROM:MRS. M SESE-SEKO
I AM MRS. SESE-SEKO WIDOW OF LATE PRESIDENT MOBUTU SESE-SEKO OF ZAIRE? NOW KNOWN AS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC). I AM MOVED TO WRITE YOU THIS LETTER, THIS WAS IN CONFIDENCE CONSIDERING MY PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCE AND SITUATION.
I ESCAPED ALONG WITH MY HUSBAND AND TWO OF OUR SONS TIMOTHY KONGOLO AND BASHER OUT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) TO ABIDJAN, COTE D'IVOIRE WHERE MY FAMILY AND I SETTLED, WHILE WE LATER MOVED TO SETTLED IN MORROCO WHERE MY HUSBAND LATER DIED OF CANCER DISEASE. HOWEVER DUE TO THIS SITUATION WE DECIDED TO CHANGED MOST OF MY HUSBAND'S BILLIONS OF DOLLARS DEPOSITED IN SWISS BANK AND OTHER COUNTRIES INTO OTHER FORMS OF MONEY CODED FOR SAFE PURPOSE BECAUSE THE NEW HEAD OF STATE OF (DR) MR LAURENT KABILA HAS MADE ARRANGEMENT WITH THE SWISS GOVERNMENT AND OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO FREEZE ALL MY LATE HUSBAND'S TREASURES DEPOSITED IN SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. HENCE
MY CHILDREN AND I DECIDED LAYING LOW IN AFRICA TO STUDY THE SITUATION TILL WHEN THINGS GETS BETTER, LIKE NOW THAT PRESIDENT KABILA IS DEAD AND THE SON TAKING OVER (JOSEPH KABILA). ONE OF MY LATE HUSBAND'S CHATEAUX IN SOUTHERN FRANCE WAS CONFISCATED BY THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT, AND AS SUCH I HAD TO CHANGE MY IDENTITY SO THAT MY INVESTMENT WILL NOT BE TRACED AND CONFISCATED. I HAVE DEPOSITED THE SUM OF EIHGTEEN MLLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS(US$18,000,000,00.) WITH A SECURITY COMPANY , FOR SAFEKEEPING. THE FUNDS ARE SECURITY CODED TO PREVENT THEM FROM KNOWING THE CONTENT. WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO IS TO INDICATE YOUR INTEREST THAT YOU WILL ASSIST US BY RECEIVING THE MONEY ON OUR BEHALF.ACKNOWLEDGE THIS MESSAGE, SO THAT I CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO MY SON ( KONGOLO) WHO HAS THE OUT MODALITIES FOR THE CLAIM OF THE SAID FUNDS. I WANT
YOU TO ASSIST IN INVESTING THIS MONEY, BUT I WILL NOT WANT MY IDENTITY REVEALED. I WILL ALSO WANT TO BUY PROPERTIES AND STOCK IN MULTI-NATIONAL COMPANIES AND TO ENGAGE IN OTHER SAFE AND NON-SPECULATIVE INVESTMENTS. MAY I AT THIS POINT EMPHASISE THE HIGH LEVEL OF CONFIDENTIALITY, WHICH THIS BUSINESS DEMANDS, AND HOPE YOU WILL NOT BETRAY THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE, WHICH I REPOSE IN YOU. IN CONCLUSION, IF YOU WANT TO ASSIST US , MY SON SHALL PUT YOU IN THE PICTURE OF THE BUSINESS, TELL YOU WHERE THE FUNDS ARE CURRENTLY BEING MAINTAINED AND ALSO DISCUSS OTHER MODALITIES INCLUDING REMUNERATION FOR YOUR SERVICES.
FOR THIS REASON KINDLY FURNISH US YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, THAT IS YOUR PERSONAL TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBER FOR CONFIDENTIAL PURPOSE AND ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS MAIL USING THE ABOVE EMAIL ADDRESS.
THE COLONEL REPLIES
My reply, deliberately using broken English, replete with mis-spellings and grammatical mistakes that a Spanish speaker might make, was as follows:
Heading: Ayuda con sus monedas (this is Spanish for "Help with your money")
Hola Esteemed Sir
Please do you speek spanish? Easier for me.
Miguél Dematei Ugarte
"MRS SESE SEKO": SPEAK ENGLISH!
"Mrs Sese-Seko" took a couple of days then replied:
Dear Miguel Dematei,
Thank you for your comments .
The funds in question is lodged in a safe deposit vault in London.My plan is to have you contact my son as soon as he arrives London and both of you will finalize the transaction.My son has a power of attorney to effect the release to you.I have sent an urgent message to my son to proceed at once to London to open communication with you.
I am presently in a refugee camp in Morocco for security reasons .I have no access to phone or fax except the public ones which will not be convinient. The one available is not confidential so I am unable to call you now.My plan is to have my son call you upon his arrival in London and together you visit the vault and remove the crates containing the money.I will give you 25% of total funds if you will cooperate fully.
Be informed that my son is not in any position to handle the funds alone.There
is no risk associated with this transaction because its me you and my son who
knows about this deposit alone.This is why you must keep it as confidential as
humanly possible. Another area I forsee is the area of safeguarding and
protecting the funds.This will have to do with bringing the transaction within
the jurisdiction of the territory of the United Kingdom.Most importantly get an
anti-laundry certificate so the money will not be termed drug money or
terrorist money. Let me have your comments so we may proceed.
THE LADS TRY MACHINE TRANSLATION
I was a bit busy with work when this came in so I ignored it for a couple of
days, then "Mrs Sese-Seko" wrote again,
Incidentally, in Spanish, no one would choose "querido" (literally "dear") for
gracias por sus comentarios. pero estar resto asegurar que yo ser no ir para implicar usted en uno transacción que tener amenaza vida o imprisonment.The fondo ser querer mí por mi atrasado husband.We ser en Morroco junto durante Manual del Transportista rebelde impacto antes fallecimiento mi husband.However para seguridad razón yo tener que declarar a medida que uno refugiado para permitir polvo para calmar abajo antes de que yo introducir exterior world.Unfortunately desde entonces yo tener ser abajo con diferente dolencia presentar stress.Since mi marido chateaux en Francia ser confisticated por Manual del Transportista gobierno yo decidir él ser tiempo para volver a dirigir depositar fondo para seguridad razón. Por otra parte la información que me alcanzaba ha procesado el gobierno del Manual del Transportista como deseo guardar tabulaciones en nosotros con objeto de agarrar lo que dejó mi último marido behind.Hence a mi contacto usted que solicitaba su total cooperación.
fondo en pregunta ser alojar en uno seguro depósito cámara en London.My plan ser para tener usted entrar en contacto con mi hijo tan pronto como él llegar Londres y ambo usted concluir transaction.My hijo tener uno potencia abogado para efectuar desbloquear you.I tener enviar uno urgente mensaje mi hijo para proceder inmediatamente Londres para abrir comunicación con usted.
yo ser actualmente en uno refugiado campo en Marruecos para seguridad razón I tener ninguno acceso teléfono o fax a menos que público uno que no ser convinient.The uno disponible ser no confidencial así que yo ser incapaz para llamar usted now.My plan ser para tener mi hijo llamada usted sobre su llegada en Londres y junto usted visitar cámara y quitar cajón contener money.I dar usted 25% total fondo si usted cooperar lleno.
estar informado que mi hijo ser no en cualquier posición para dirigir fondo alone.There ser ninguno riesgo asociar con este transacción porque su mí usted y mi hijo quien saber sobre este depósito alone.This ser porqué usted deber guardar él tan confidencial a medida que humano possible.Another área yo prever ser área salvaguardar y proteger funds.This tener que hacer con traer transacción dentro jurisdicción territorio unir Kingdom.Most importante conseguir uno contra - lavadero certificado así que dinero no ser llamar droga dinero o terrorista dinero. Déjeme tener sus comentarios así que podemos proceder.
THE COLONEL TRIES MACHINE TRANSLATION IN REVERSE
Since the Lads had used a computer to render their letter in Spanish I decided to play along and write them a latter in Spanish. I had to be a bit careful not to make too many spelling mistakes as otherwise their translation software would not work properly, but here it is:
Title: Una respuesta
Estimada Sra Seseseko
El problema es con un viaje a Londres por si salo el país puede estará detenido
En un o dos dias escribé un correo sobre el problema,
Gracias para tu correo en español pero desgraciadamente,
Translated into English I hope their computer software came up with something like:
Esteemed Mrs Seseseko
The problem is with a trip to London for if I leave the country
In a day or two I will write a mail about the problem,
THE LADS GET TO THE POINT
The next letter from Mrs Sese-Seko showed the Lads had given up
Title: Re: Una respuesta
As originator of this transaction I have done my part by preparing the ground to enable us conclude the transaction legally on time.Right now my son is billed to arrive London tomorrow night.
I think its important if we know our responsibilities in this transaction.Since Tim will arrive the Uk You shall be responsible for his feeding and accomondation until the deposits are released.
Secondly you shall handle this transaction as your own.Total commitment because you are the point head while my son will ensure and endorse all documents are signed to empower you to act.
Thirdly you shall any expences that may arise i.e opening accounts to lodge the funds should you want to instead of a draft.
You shall arrive immediately to cooperate with my son in London so that work can start on the preliminaries.
I need this full cooperation by virtue of my present condition of health and my taking refuge at the camp until the funds are released to you for security reasons.You will be reimbursed as soon as you collect the crates from the vault of whatever expences if you so wish.
It is expedient you forward to me your confidential telephone number if there is another so my son can contact you immediately and you discuss and finalize your arrival.
My plan is for you and my son to proceed from there after collection of funds to your country ahead of me;while I will join you later.
Yes I used a computer which is very amatuer.Please get an intereter whom you trust and lets proceed.
Let me have your comments as soon as possible so we can proceed.
THE COLONEL AIRS HIS DIRTY LAUNDRY
I thought I'd play for time a little and help reinforce the "nastiness"
Hola Mrs Seseseko:
I recive you mail and thak you mucho for.
I think abot traslator but problema is security.
With somethink as this importante not tell nobody excepto who it needs to know.
I know me english not good but is more good than somebody not necessario
know abot our planes.
I think abot me to go to England but this is dificul.
You know abot Flakland islas (las Islas Malvinas) and war ago 20 years?
No good for argentino. So i go to Buenos Aires, then to San Pablo (Brasil).
I look at flights now. Posible form San Pablo directo to Milano (Italy) or Madrid (Spain).
Spain is more good but problema is argentino acento is obviuos.
So i go to Milano then to England becuase when in Italy or Spain easier more
becuase then in Europa Union.
I have other problema also. Me group had touff works in dirty war against comunistas
and "izquierdistas" (sory, not know english word) and democratistas
me want it prison for humans rights of charges.
You know abot General Pinochet in Chile? Arrestan in London ago thre years.
But I think more good for a miembro my group in Buenos Aires us help.
We were militars and have more good disciplan so no a problema.
Is OK for you son? In Argentina are some englishspeaker and one
me men speak english very good. Me problema is to find he now but think he is in Italy.
Maybe take other day or so.
Have you thinked already abot laundry of moneys?
I know abot this becuase i did laundry with me moneys from dirty war.
Do you son know abot front companys and other laundrys ways for moneys?
Ways to laundrys diferent in diferent contrys.
Oh dear... I think Mrs Sese-Seko has had an attack of the frights.
By the way I sent the same initial email this evening to "Barrister Raymond
THE COLONEL SHARES HIS STAFFING PLANS
Miguél Dematei (The Colonel) wrote:
Long time i no hear nothing abot moneys.
I now in Buenos Aires in me contry and I find good
mans for seguridad.
Think 10 to 12 mans adecuado good for seguridad.
Hope can take flight to San Pablo in Brasil abot
Friday or Saturday then to Europe.
"MRS SESE SEKO" SUGGESTS FEWER ARMED MEN
From: destination 007 [email@example.com]
Thank you for quick response.
You do not need too many peole to attend with you.You and one person is good.My son will arrive London tommorrow night.The money already in London in a diplomatic warehouse.
My son will arrive and he will mail you and exchange telephone with you.You call him and he will tell you what will be done by you upon your arrival.
When you hear from my son call him back immediately so you can both plan and conclude immediately.Please tell me everything as you proceed.
Thank you and Godbless you for your cooperation.Keep[ this business confidential.
NEW PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO SCAMMERS
Fecha: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 22:09:25 +0100 (BST)
I write to inform you that I have arrived London to finalise the impending transaction with you. This requires urgency and confidentiality as you may have known. I have confirmed that the consignment is ready for claim as soon as you come over to London. I'm the personal assistant to Timothy Seseseko who is indisposed at this material time. If not, he would have been in London with me.
Please, call me using:+44 79 57 395 826 for further briefing. Note that time is of great essence and we have to pick up the consignment as soon as possible to avoid demurrage. At any rate, it is important to let you know that I'm an architect by profession and I have an impending construction project in the Gambia to finalise before December, 19th. As such, I have to leave London for Gambia as soon as possible.
Best wishes as I look forward to hearing from you.
The lads have switched to another operator to handle this end of the sting...
From: Miguél Dematei
Hola Mr Dave
I receive message. Now is clear. Mr Basher uso incorrecto mail -- shuld uso firstname.lastname@example.org no is email@example.com.
I send me itinerario pronto to Mr Basher. For telefono is a problema with langauge. Mr Basher speek spanish?
BASHER SAYS KEEP SECRET SECRET
basher oman [firstname.lastname@example.org] escribió:
Thank you for your urgent response. Be rest-assured that this business is 100% safe provided you keep secret secret. Once we mind our business and remain calm, there will be no problem of interpol or police. We have a clearing agent that will clear and deliver the consignment to you and I while we wait in the Hotel. Secondly, we have an expert banker who will assist you and I to deposit the fund in a special bank for onward wire transfer to any account of your choice. The two helping hand i.e the clearing agent and the banker will be paid by madam.
I have spoken to the clearing agent, Mr.Steve Walker who confirmed that our consignment is ok and ready for claim. He also, confirmed that madam has paid £18,000:00 for the demurrage. According to the agent, we have an outstanding clearance/endorsement fee of £9,200:00 which must be provided on or before our consignment is released to you and I. Madam is not aware of this, if not, she would have made provision for this. Due to urgency this business demands, I advise you to come with along with this fee(£9,200) as it will be refunded to you as soon as the agent delivers the consignment to us. Note that no one else know the content of the consignment except the banker, you and I not even the clearing agent. Madam told him(the clearing agent) that it is a family treasure.
Nonetheless, I have notified madam of this outstanding fee and my suggestion that you should come with it. She had also, agreed that you should remove whatever you invest in the business once the consignment is delivered to us. So, do not worry, we have enough cash to balance you once you arrive London and the consignment is delivered. Please, send me your flight itinerary to let me know when you are coming so that I can wait for you at the Airport. From the Airport, we check into the Hotel, contact the clearing agent and the banker and we take things up from there as quickly as possible.
Please, keep this business absolutely confidential until the consignment is successfully delivered to us. Act with dispatch as I am in London to work for you and madam.
THE COLONEL BALKS
The lads have now asked for a fee of £9,200, but the Colonel has a better idea -- two of his men can have a "quiet little chat" with the agent and he is sure there will be no more fee... and perhaps no more agent if he is uncooperative....
From: Miguél Dematei
Much thank for mesage. Did you get me itinerario? If no, I send again here. There is thrree flight each day from Madrid to London Heathrow with British Midland. Me man arrange for me.
This fee of £9200 seem exopensiv. Mariam already paid £18000? I think this compagnia is very expensiv. You think compagnia is to take advantage of Mariam? I send two me mans to have quite little chat with agent. I sure no more fee. You tell me agent name and adress. Have foto? Me mans deal with this problema.
From: "basher oman" [email@example.com]
LADS ON THE DEFENSIVEDate: 07 Sep 2002
A LESSON ON DEMURRAGE
The lads are obviously not so keen on the Colonel's chosen methods of dealing with all these requests for fees and costs.
By the way, I have some knowledge of port handling charges, demurrage and clearance fees. Generally there a handling charge levied by the shipping agent. For a 200 kg consignment this might be around £50 ($70). There is demurrage but at most, even if the consignment has sat in the port for several months this may run to several hundred pounds, not £18,000. As for a charge for "clearance fees" there may be agricultural inspections and so on but these would be at most £100, not £9,200.
I know of one consignment that sat at Frankfurt Airport for about six months due to a clerical error and the demurrage of this (weight was around 50 kg) was less than £1,000 inclusive of all governmental fees.
The weight of a consignment of money amounting to $18,000,000 would obviously depend upon its denomination. A US one dollar bill weighs almost exactly one gram. If someone was to transfer $18 million in cash, they would probably use $100 notes. In that case, there would be 180,000 of them and the total weight would be around 180 kg.
On another matter, I realised I had made a spelling error on the "itinerary" I prepared for the Colonel -- I have misspelt the word for "passport". Maybe Argentine travel agents make the occasional typographical error!
By the way, the "Escuela de las mecanicas de la Armada" was the "Navy School of Mechanics" in Buenos Aires which was the most notorious torture and murder centre used by the military during the dirty war.
MADAM'S CHATEAUX CONFISCATED
From: basher oman
Thank you for your email. Please, note that this business is confidential and due to publicity, Madam's chataux was confiscated by the French government. For this reason, it took madam great effort to smuggle the baggage to UK and any noise or any form of publicity about this deal will arouse government interest and possible seizure if care is not taken. For obvious reasons, madam cannot defend the source of this great amount of money. It is government money which her husband acquired when he was alive as the president of their country. As such, we have to be calm and do everything according to madam's decision. This business is not legitimate. "Those who live in a glass house must not throw stones".Secrecy is the ultimate solution.
Anyway, the receipt for £18,000 is with madam because she cleared the outstanding demurrage before the consignment got to England. As requested, you can reach Mr. Steve Walker of Overseas Credit Nominees(The clearing agent) on telephone number:+44 777 607 0333.I will also like to know the number of people you will coming with or let me know if you are coming alone. Whatever you want is okay by me but I have to keep madam informed of any development. Please, forward your flight itinerary and endeavour to come with the requested clearing/endorsement charges(£9,200) to avoid delay in clearing our consignment.
Best wishes as I look forward to meeting you soon.
NOT TO WORRY, THUGS ON WAY
Miguél Dematei wrote:
Hola Mr Basher
Thak you mucho for mesage and explicacion about fee. I think all is very expensiv and can to save moneys for have contactos.
Mariam me need for me help with this. Have mucho experiencia with laundrys of moneys and deals with gobiernos and burocracies. Gran Bretish gobierno rip off Mariam but I fix. Me mans have contactos very good and I send mans to have quite little chat with burocratistas and we get refunde £18000 and no more need £9200.
Ask agente who is the burocratistas and I me mans send pronto. Have you recieto for £18000? You me send and me mans deal with problema very good. All fix pronto.
I now leave Cordoba for drive to Buenos Aires. Take 2 days so probablemente no get mails befor monday. Get me ticketts Monday in Buenos Aires. Plese to me send mails and me repond monday.
No wory abot me mans. Very good grupo. Had grupo en Escuela de las Mecanicas de la Armada in Dirty War and all is very very good. We most good in Argentina and deal with comunistas and izquierdistas pronto. No problema with seguridad. Me mans all usan diferente flight to Europa and no mans never usa true name. Good militar disciplin. It no is a problema for seguridad.
THE COLONEL LAYS IT ONDate: 10 Sep 2002, 05:20:29 PM
Subject: The Colonel gets to the point
From: Miguél Dematei
Now I en Buenos Aires and received you mail.
Think Mariam has need it me grupo servicios. Know abot problemas with
actividades no it legales and have mucho experiencia with such like
actividades. Have problemas ago two years with compagnia en Germania at
Francoforte Aeroport with charge it wanted us make for demurrage for air cargo.
Some times these compagnias think cargoes is illegales and is posible it us
charges mucho more. Compagnia en Germania us wanted to pago DM 3000 (or abot
that, is abot U$S 1500) for demurrage but me mans had quite chat and demurrage
no more us it charge.
With chateux in Francia is it same. Me mans wuld deal with gobierno burocratista that start actividades against Mariam and no more problema but now it too late.
All gobiernos same. En Argentina if want something from gobierno, pago small fee to burocratista and he it fix. If inspetor of impuestas come page small fee and he gone away. I dealt with Europa mucho for more than ten year and it same everywhere. En Italia, pago small fee and no is a problema. En England maybe more dificul but no is imposible. Burocratista correcto take small fee and no more pago demurrage or release fees.
It very importante here becuase know abot these problemas. Compagnia think it can charge anything becuase consignment illegale and it charge more and more of fee. I tell you this fee no is end of fees. I come to London and pago £9200 and compagnia tell you is more fees. I seen it before happen, but me mans fix problemas and corrupt burocratistas and compagnias empleos dealt with by me mans. No more fees and no problemas.
Abot numbers of mans I send abot 12 mans to London but no with me. Mans takes others flights. Maybe solo one man with me on flights. I ask today me man in Europa you to it send a mail abot flights to London.
Remember me mans all militars and haves the more good disciplin. No is a problema, every one ios quite. Solo mans we have for quite chat make noise, but me mans deal with this problema en specialemente places. No is problema.
I think problema it is for Mariam no have adecuado grupo for all problemas with these cargoes. I sure you peoples is very goods but no have correcto mans for touff works when it neede.