Nigeria Warns of British Conmen

Status: Strange News
Nigerian travellers have been warned by their government to watch out for conmen while in Britain:
Fraudsters in Britain might pour tomato juice or other substances on your dress and then offer to help remove it, robbing you in the process, the information ministry warned in its first-ever travel advisory obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The conmen, who are mainly white, but also include east Europeans and north Africans, might also pretend to pick up an object from under a potential victim's seat to distract his attention while he robs him, it added. "Nigerian travellers are hereby warned not to carry large amount of money on their body and ensure that their air tickets, passports, expensive wrist-watches as well as trinkets are securely hidden," the advisory said.
The advisory seems sensible enough, though given Nigeria's reputation for crime it seems a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. The Reuters article points out that, "Nigeria itself has seen a sharp rise in violent crime since President Olusegun Obasanjo was elected in 1999, ending 15 years of military rule. Africa's top oil producer, ranked by Berlin-based sleaze watchdog Transparency International as the world's seventh most corrupt country, is also famous for junk mail scams."

Big Gary (who forwarded me the article) wonders who are the other six most corrupt countries, if Nigeria is number seven. As best I can find out, the other six would be (starting with the most corrupt): Chad, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Haiti, and Equatorial Guinea. This is from the 2005 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (on which Nigeria was actually ranked #6, not #7).

Law/Police/Crime Places

Posted on Tue Jun 27, 2006


The most hilarious thing I see here is Nigeria warning ANYONE of cons and frauds. The organized crime and Internet Relay (deaf-to-hearing phone service) fraud is notorious, in regards to Nigeria and Ghana. It's nice to see they make certain their citizens are protected against crime, yet do little within their own borders to deter the use of a public service, such as internet relay, to make fraudulent purchases in the U.S.
Posted by EJWise  on  Tue Jun 27, 2006  at  11:17 PM
Isn't it just a little unfair to condemn an entire nation for the dishonest actions of a few people? I'm sure a lot of Americans aren't happy with sharing the blame for the actions of George W. Bush.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Wed Jun 28, 2006  at  08:21 AM
...Well, anyone bumping into you in public, or distracting you to rob you isn't a new thing...Soo...I'm not really sure what the point of the article is.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Jun 28, 2006  at  09:49 AM
Coming from Nigeria, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this "warning" was followed up with a wave of emails offering some miraculous system by which travelers could protect themselves from the tomato juice scam.
Posted by Gene  on  Wed Jun 28, 2006  at  03:14 PM
My indication of a government or parliament's lack of action on matters was not a generalization nor condemnation of it's citizens. I cast that upon the controlling forces, not the populace of any place, which I believe to be morally sound, no matter what the nation. I do appreciate you pointing out, however, how the comment could be construed as a verbal genocide against an entire country. Thank you, Captain Al. I apologize for that miscommunication.
Posted by EJWise  on  Wed Jun 28, 2006  at  07:04 PM
A couple of the most recent e-mails I got offering to send me 8.5 million dollars came not from Nigeria, but from Ougadougou, Burkina Faso. I was so delighted to get mail from Ougadougou, which is my favorite place name in the whole world, that I even read the e-mail.

For some years, I've been thinking of making a trip to Burkina Faso, just so I could casually drop into conversations, "Back when I was in Ougadougou ..."
Posted by Big Gary  on  Sat Jul 01, 2006  at  07:11 AM
Uh, that should be "Ouagadougou." If it's my favorite place name, you'd think I'd spell it correctly, wouldn't you?
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Jul 04, 2006  at  10:36 AM
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