Marked Currency

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Marked Currency / Defaced Black Currency / Wash-wash / Money Multiplier /Black Dollar Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud Cash Cleaning Money Scams


One aspect of the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud involves victims being informed of the existence of case loads of banknotes which are said to have been coated or stamped in order to disguise their identity from the authorities or for "security purposes".

This may even come as a surprise to the victim who, after paying untold fees to have the money finally released, discover it now needs to be cleaned by chemical dye removers before it is useable. Such a process is accompanied with, of course, yet more fees or expenses.

Each bill may be said to have a smudge on its face that will prevent detection by a scanning device as it passed through U.S. Customs or be stamped with the initials "U.N." or "UNDP" (United Nations Development Programme) amid claims that the money is only for overseas use. It could even be deemed un-cashable for security purposes while in transit or while being held by the security company.

The alleged money is shown to the victim, who is told that the black coating or stamps can be removed by washing it with a special compound. The exotic and expensive mix of secret chemicals for cleaning money, which could be referred to as SSD Solution, Vectrol Paste, Lactima Base 98%, microtectine and Tebi-Matonic, is needed to “clean”a trunk or security case supposedly full of these illicit U.S. $100 bills and other millions stored overseas in a vault.

In fact, only a few real, blackened US$100 bank notes are shown to the victim, and the special chemical is ordinary cleaning fluid which reacts with the black mixture of Vaseline and iodine. The remainder of the material in the case is blank, blackened paper often made simply by photocopying with the lid up and cutting the sheets down to banknote size.

In some cases the actual currency has been pre-coated with a protective layer of common white glue, then dyed with tincture of iodine. This is later removed with a "secret and expensive" solution consisting of only water and crushed vitamin C tablets.

In front of the victim the criminal will appear to randomly select between two and four notes from the case. He will then wash them in a tiny portion of the solution, which he has with him, returning them to their original form as real bank notes. They are given to the victim who is invited to spend them or get them checked at the bank to confirm that they are genuine.

In reality, the criminal knows perfectly well which notes he is selecting and selects the only real ones that are there. A really dexterous criminal will invite the victim to choose notes to clean and, by using a well practiced sleight of hand similar to a card trick, trick the victim into selecting the genuine ones.

The victim is asked to provide between US$50,000 and US$100,000 for bulk supplies of the cleaning compound, which the offender offers to procure.

On some occasions, as a sign of good faith, you may be able to keep the suitcase for a short time, until you obtain the money to buy the solution. To prevent you from opening the suitcase you could even be told that exposure to air will cause the black substance to ruin the money.

After the advance payment has been received, the chemicals are not delivered to the victim, who is left with suitcases full of worthless black paper instead of the US$100 notes.

The Black Currency Scam is believed to be based on a centuries old traditional West African con called the "Red Mercury" scam.


More information on this aspect of the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud Operation can be viewed through victim statements at:

Black Cash Scam

Italian in Amsterdam

Anatomy of a Will Scam and Black Currency 419 Operation $400,000 lost.


This is a thread from the //finishing.com site wherein several scammers promoted the merits of the process by pretending to be purchasers or suppliers of the elusive, or readily available chemicals.

... work at DHL Worldwide Express in Malaysia. I am desperately looking for decoaters / dissolvers for some kind of metal coating... negotiated reward for this help but actually it is for charity... The solutions I need are

1 litre of Grade A - Vectrol paste 003,
1 litre " " Tebi-Matonic Solution
0.5 litre " S.S.D. chemical solutions

Niumal Weeraseena
DHL Worldwide Express - Malaysia


... another option in decoating your product by using some kind of powder - Kamaruddin Abdullah - Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia

... need to clean US bank-notes coated with a galvanic metal....

... have Vector 003 & Synthetic Surfacetant Detergent for melted coat ( paper or film )...

... have the alternative solution called OGL to be applied on decolating melt...sole agent for the US based company... Reachcom Chemical Co - Kuala Lumpur

... we also have OGL. - Rabjit Kelvin - Basf chemical specialist co - Kuala Lumpur / Dr. Ling Sang, Malaysia

universal cleaning solution... cosovex... frb powder and a machine is what really works...

... fake banknotes are coated with iodine and vaseline whereas real black banknotes are coated with a special polymer metal coating...

...The 'magic chemical' was revealed to be simple bisulfite bleach years ago. The blackening is iodine and vaseline. Bisulfite bleach will remove iodine from real bills, but you will of course discover that it will not work for you because you have a sack of black paper, not real money...

...chemical formula solution came from Novak International Laboratories in Switzerland...


One group has set themselves up as the Sayung International Organization - Subsidiary to Petrochemical in Ghana and used the oil refinery plant in Tema as their location. They have actually gone to the plant to pick up the "block" chemical in front of their victim though their regular meeting place is the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra.

Ivorian security agents arrested five Nigerians in Abidjan (2/99) with three briefcases, each containing bundles of bogus $100 notes, collectively totaling about $24 million fake dollars. These were being used to transact business with visiting foreigners who would perhaps only discover later that the notes were fake.


12/01 - SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - A federal grand jury indicted 25-year-old ABU ANSU DONZO of Liberia, Africa, and 24-year-old ABDUL HAMIDY BALDE of Guinea, West Africa with one count of Possessing Altered U.S. Currency and one count of possessing fictitious obligations in order to commit fraud in a fraudulent "black money" scheme.

The indictment alleges that on November 9, 2001, they approached a victim and showed him three U.S. $20 bills coated with a black substance. They then demonstrated that the black substance could be removed from the bills using a liquid solution making the currency appear like new.

They then showed what they said was bundled currency totaling $2.5 million and said they needed money to acquire more solution in order to clean that money.

The shown, bundled items ultimately turned out to be black paper cut to the size of U.S. paper currency. If found guilty on both counts, each defendant faces up to forty years in federal prison and a maximum $500,000 fine. Authorities claim this scheme is more commonly seen on the East Coast.


12/01 After paying over $18,000 to an American and three local residents for the special solution required to turn $400,000 in defaced “specially printed”U.S. currency used for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) into normal currency, a doctor in Kuala Lumpur was told to only open the briefcase containing the money when he reached home.

When he did, all he found was eight bundles of white paper with a (genuine) US$50 note stuck to the top of each bundle, while the bottle of “special liquid”turned out to be soap water.


10/01 Malaysia - When police set up a local sting operation initiated by a suspicious businessman they managed to nab a Nigerian and two other men, believed to be Zimbabwean.

Money-processing devices were seized at the hotel base of operations along with bundles of plain yellow paper; bundles of fake US$1 notes, instructions on how to wash the money and other documents.

The businessman was attracted by the offer but he became wary when he was asked to pay US$4,000 as a processing fee.


What a Wicked Web We Weave

02/00 Boston - Chemical engineer Glenn Richard Elion, 50, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in February on a federal charge that he defrauded investors of $3.8 million by claiming to have duplicated the potentially incredibly lucrative genetic code of spider silk.

The scheme however began in July 1995 when he received a letter from "Frank Chuma" offering him a chance to participate in a Nigerian business deal. The Nigerians were looking for investors to share in $25 million of U.S. federal reserve notes which were stained black with security dye and worthless in its current state.

However, with Elion's investment, the Nigerians told him, they could purchase a special chemical to clean the bills. They would then give him 20% of the proceeds.

The offer brought Elion to a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, to meet with Hassan Mohammed and his associates who produced a box full of the tainted money. They tried to demonstrate the cleaning process by washing the bills with a bottled chemical but as they tried to clean the bills, the bottle exploded. His new associates told Elion to evacuate the building, leave Nigeria, and come back later.

Despite the explosive ending to their meeting, Elion did business with the Nigerians. In August 1995, he sent the first of what would be many payments to his new associates totaling $700,000 but never received any of the promised profits.

Secret Service agents discovered Elion after he deposited large sums of cash into a Chicago bank account linked to the Nigerian criminals and in December, 1997, warned him that he was a victim of a Nigerian "advance-fee fraud" and urged him to stop sending money, but he ignored the warning.

By May 1996, however, his own financial resources were becoming limited. Though he owned two businesses: a start-up biotechnology firm and a small winery these businesses were not generating a substantial income stream so instead of sending his own money, he began to defraud others into sending him their money.

He did not tell his friends about Special Agent Kierstead's warning. Instead, he forged a letter claiming he had Kierstead's blessings. The four-page letter, dated March 17, 1998, was written on stationery bearing Secret Service letterhead, was signed with a forgery of Kierstead's signature, reported the stained U.S. currency was legitimate and urged Elion to hire a good accountant to deal with all that money.

And although Elion said he feared for the safety of his wife and two teenage sons, he went to London for eight months and met with several Nigerians including one Patrick Armstrong who was later arrested by Scotland Yard detectives.

A year later, London police at Scotland Yard got in touch with the Secret Service in Boston and reported they arrested a man for his involvement in a Nigerian scam, one of whose victims was Elion.

Federal agents arrested Elion and put a stop to the fraud. But the damage was done.

In 1996, Elion convinced a business associate from San Francisco, Nigel Fleming, to invest $100,000 in a biotechnology firm, Plant Cell Technologies. With help from Armstrong and his other Nigerian contacts, Elion apparently created and forged documents to make the business look legitimate.

Elion claimed that his research had unlocked the key to producing synthetic spider silk, a potentially lucrative commercial material but during 1996 and 1997 he allegedly told Fleming "elaborate lies" and stories about needing money to pay business taxes and to launch their new company.

Fleming said he was so convinced by Elion that he advanced more than $2.7 million to the scientist, quit his job and set up a new company to market the product but began to have doubts when Elion's research did not stand up to scrutiny by other scientists.

But it's been stated that Elion had an idea to make millions. He supposedly told Fleming his family had received a box containing $32 million in stained $100 bills which was a settlement from a wealthy Japanese businessman who had hired his father as a consultant. With Fleming's money they could clean the bills and deposit them into the Plant Cell Technologies account.

In the three years he was in business with Elion, Fleming told the Secret Service, he lost $2.6 million in transfers from his Merrill Lynch account to Elion's bank account.

In addition to Fleming, Elion conceded that he scammed another biotechnology partner, C.P. Liu of San Francisco, out of $536,000 who was told he would be paid back after Elion cashed in on a Japanese consulting contract that authorities said actually never existed.

A former attorney lost $500,000; three business associates of Fleming's lost $250,000, a brother was taken for $320,000 and his mother $80,000, court records said. Elion made up various stories to get their money.

Prosecutors said all the cash went to the Nigerians, but Fleming figures he is blaming the Nigerians and getting away with a big heist. As evidence that Elion conspired with the Nigerians, he points out that the Secret Service first warned Elion about the scam in December, 1997, but he still cooperated with the Nigerians and deceived him into parting with an additional $1 million afterwards. Fleming is suing Elion in California in an attempt to recover the money he lost.

U.S. District Judge Stearns seemed astonished that someone as intelligent as Elion could get victimized by the Nigerians.

When asked, Elion replied "I kept thinking it was real. I kept thinking that everyone would be paid back and I could get on with the research and development that I was desperately trying to fund."

A report by the State Department indicates that at least 15 businessmen, including one American, have been murdered in Nigeria in connection with the same type of scam so he may even be lucky to alive.


07/01 Bangkok - Tchatchiw Vivien Vico, 26, from Cameroon, and Wilson Yancym, 29, from Liberia, were arrested at the Plaza Athenee hotel after a complaint from Maurizio Bottore, an Italian national who claimed the gang had swindled him out of 2.6 million baht.

The Italian said he was duped into paying 2.6 million baht for a "special chemical" to spray on blackened pieces of paper to turn them into US bank notes. He was told the blackened notes were supplied by US authorities for smuggling into Liberia to fund activities of rebel groups there.

Also seized in the arrest were stacks of black paper the size of a US bank note, police said. The suspects were also charged with bribery after they offered to give the police 400,000 baht in cash and gold in exchange for their release.

Amporn Adjay, 34, and Wandee Pothong, 27, were arrested as accomplices when they handed the bribe to the police on behalf of the suspects.


12/06/01 Georgia -- The counterfeit bills found packed into foot lockers at a Doraville storage facility looked like a million bucks but were in fact being used in a common confidence game known as a "black money scheme."

The Secret Service was called in after local and state authorities responded to what was initially thought to be a possible anthrax scare but the white powder on the phony bills was determined to be harmless, possibly talcum powder -- another telltale mark of the swindle.

The renter's name and other information provided to the storage facility were as bogus as the bills but it was most likely nationals from Nigeria and Senegal, an investigating Secret Service agent said.

The black dye is said to be a precaution to prevent stealing but they'll add talcum powder in with the wrapped bills to further discourage the victim from looking closely.


Screwed Twice

08/20 Thailand - Thirty-four year old Algerian Mohamed Kovidir was arrested last week for trying to pull the “Black Money”scam on a local woman named Nadtaporn Phubua.

The “Black Money”scam involves convincing an unsuspecting dupe that a certain chemical can “clean”money that banks have supposedly painted black for disposal. The victim is then convinced to “buy”the money and the chemical so that the scammer can clean the money, which he is more than willing to split with the victim.

Nadtaporn, 25, told police that she met Kovidir in Bangkok and that after the two had struck up an intimate relationship, he told her of a money making deal that he said could double her investment of 200,000 baht.

She said the man performed a demonstration for her, chemically treating a black colored 500 baht bank note, which magically transformed back into pristine condition. He then lured her into investing in the purchase of more of the “black money”, promising an easy profit.

Impressed with the demonstration and the prospect of doubling her investment, she handed over her gold necklace and bracelets agreeing to meet at a specified hotel with another amount of money to invest in the venture.

Before meeting him she talked with friends who eventually enlightened her to the popular scam then related her story to police who devised a plan to use marked banknotes to entrap the scam artist.

At the meeting the scammer produced two stacks of the alleged colored money, prompting her to hand over another 5,000 baht. He then commenced to treat the colored money with chemical solutions, but was unsuccessful, whereupon she alerted police officers waiting outside.

Kovidir confessed to the scam, telling police he targeted the young girl as his prey because she appeared to be naive and was willing to partake in the money making scheme.


12/98 Hong Kong - Police attached to the Commercial Crime Bureau detained a 26-year-old Ghananian man at the airport upon his return to Hong Kong for Obtaining Property by Deception in connection with a black money scam .

The man allegedly lured a Filipino and a Taiwanese businessmen into purchasing a quantity of US dollars said to have been blackened and defaced for security reasons while in transit.

He claimed that the original state of the blackened money could be restored by washing with a special chemical which he demonstrated to convince the victims.

Being convinced, the victims struck a deal and gave US$250,000 to the man in exchange for a quantity of blackened money and some chemicals during several transactions between May and June.

After contacting police it was determined that the blackened money and the special chemical in question were ordinary paper dyed black and iodine based dye remover only.


06/99 Malaysia: Two Liberian farmers were each sentenced to 12 months' jail with three strokes of the rotan and fined RM2,000 for attempting to cheat a pensioner in a money scam.

Vinnie Taylor, 22 and Roland Seah, 26 were also each sentenced to six months' jail and fined RM2,000 for using forged entry permits despite their request to be sent back to their country, saying this was their first offence in Malaysia.

They pleaded guilty to cheating Abdul Karim Satar, 57, by inducing him to pay US$4,000 for a chemical that could allegedly process three bundles of "black paper" into US$100 notes at a local resort.

According to the facts of the case, Taylor had introduced himself to Abdul Karim at a KFC outlet as Musa, a businessman with US$2.5mil for investment.

Two days later, Abdul Karim was invited to a hotel, where Taylor and Seah demonstrated the process of turning black paper into money using a formula allegedly obtained from the Federal Mint Authority in the United States.

They claimed the formula was a new strategy by the United States Government to help war-torn countries.

The Liberians demonstrated the process by dipping the black paper into a liquid they claimed to be acid then gave Karim the "processed" US$100 bill and told him to get US$4,000 in exchange for the liquid and three bundles of black paper.

Acting on information from Karim, police arrested the pair at the Carlton Hotel in Seremban, the agreed meeting place for the late morning transaction.

Another female Liberian who was present during the first demonstration, Fiees Allison, 29, had claimed trial to a cheating charge but apparently skipped bail.


04/01 Malaysia - Police arrested four suspects, all in their 30s, who entered the state posing as tourists to look for potential victims. They are believed to be members of a 'black money' syndicate.

Police recovered several bottles of chemical and bundles of RM100-sized paper which the con gang used to deceive victims into believing that the bundles could be turned into cash in exchange for between RM30,000 and RM120,000.

More than 25 people involved in the black money scam had been arrested since last year.


2001 Thailand - Liberians Yeorge J. Kuoh, 29, and Michael G. Hill, 31, were arrested at a Pattaya hotel and charged with swindling Yee Suk Oh, 38, a South Korean tourist, out of B500,000 and attempting to cheat him out of five million baht more.

The con men convinced him that a bag full of paper cut to the size of U.S. banknotes and treated with black colored ink was concealing genuine $100 U.S. banknotes.

One of the three silver-tongued men said the “black money”was obtained from his father who was hired by the U.S. government to transfer the specially treated money from Bangkok to Liberia. Yee Suk Oh was lured into the scam after witnessing a demonstration converting four pieces of black paper into one hundred dollar banknotes by applying a special liquid from a nearly empty small bottle.

The Korean was captivated by the opportunity to make an easy profit and gave the men B100,000 to purchase more of the special liquid which the Liberians said came from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

Kuoh and Hill returned with a small quantity of the liquid but said they required an additional B400,000 to obtain a sufficient amount to convert the large bag of color treated money. They produced an official looking document on U.S. Embassy letterhead claiming that such a liquid exists.

While waiting for them to return, Yee Suk Oh received a phone call requesting an extra 5 million baht to acquire enough of the liquid to transform the large amount of paper.

Pushed too far he reported the incident to police who were able to arrest the pair though a third member was able to avoid arrest.

Liberian con men Yeorge J. Kuoh and Michael G. Hill were arrested for pulling the “black money”scam on a South Korean tourist in Thailand.

Nigerian Fake Money In one arrest authorities seized a large metal security box containing packets of paper cut to the size of American money wrapped in plastic with genuine bills on the top of the stack.

From: adamu yazid <adamu_yazid@yahoo.com.sg
Sent: August 07, 2001
Subject: trust and confidential.

# 101 ANNAMDI AZIKIWE CRESCENT, TUNIBU SQUIRE
LAGOS NIGERIA.
TELE 234-1-7591531
FAX 234-1-7590922

I AM CHAIRMAN AUDIT COMMITTEE IN CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, SET UP BY PRESENT DOMCRATIC GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA. I CAME ACROSS YOUR PARTICULARS THROUGH A BUSINESS JOURNAL. I WILL BE OBLIGED TO HAVE AN EVENTFUL AND WORTHY BUSINESS DEAL WITH YOU.

SO FAR, I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION GENUINE US DOLLARS PHYSICAL CASH AND NOT FAKE. OF COURSE, THE DOLLAR WERE INTENTIONALLY STAINED TO AVOID SPENDABLE BY ANY SIGHTED HAWK OR INTERCEPTION GROUP OR PERSON BEFORE GETTING TO ME THE SOURCE IS NOT QUESTIONABLE AND THERE IS NO LEGAL INFRINGEMENT WHATSOEVER. MORE SO, I HAVE THE READY SOURCE OF THE CHEMICAL TO CLEAN THE STAIN DOLLARS FROM USA WHICH HAVE BEEN MY INITIAL PROBLEM.

IF YOU INDICATE YOUR INTEREST TO DO THIS BUSINESS WITH ME, I WILL USE MY INFLUENCE AS CHAIRMAN AUDIT COMMITTEE TO TRANSFER THIS MONEY TO GLOBAL SECURITY HOUSE IN SWEDEN FOR SAFE KEEPING.

ALL I REQUIRE YOU TO DO IS ASSIST ME IN CLAIMING THE MONEY, IF YOU SHOW INTEREST I WILL GIVE YOU THE DOCUMENTS WHICH YOU WILL USE TO CLAIM THE MONEY IN SWEDEN. I NEED YOUR GOOD ADVICE ON A REMUNERATIVE VENTURE IN YOUR COUNTRY WHICH I WILL LIKE TO INVEST SOME OF THIS MONEY.

NOTE 40 PERCENT ACCRUES TO YOU AS THE OWNER OF THE NOMINATED FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT WERE THIS MONEY WILL BE PAY.

THANKS FROM

ENGR ADAMU YAZID.


Good day my nice friend, how is business? Hope fine.

Thanks be to God Almighty... letter or business proposal must come to you as a surprise. I am CHIEF DR. OBIORA D. AIKAMA, an official of the Nigeria printing Security Company, a government parastatal in charge of minting, printing and storing currencies (foreign and local).

... your name... given to me... friend who works with the World Trade Organization... conference in Dakar, Senegal... searching for a trusted partner...

... removed two boxes containing $20 million each of defaced currency ready for cleaning...

... secret test with a scientist here in Nigeria who performed the cleaning process and found it fit for use. The little sample cleaned was tested in the public market in Europe, America and Asia, it was undetected and accepted hitch-free.

... requires a foreign partner... enable us process the cleaning with a scientist in Europe...

... 10% will be earmarked for unforeseen expenses that may arise during the course of performing the cleaning process in the laboratory.

... high degree of secrecy...

CHIEF DR. OBIORA D. AIKAMA obidon7@yahoo.com

Sent in by Herb Steiner from 07/01



Photo examples showing trunks full of "marked currency" can be seen at these links.

Nigerian marked currency.
Black money scam.
Nigerian wash-wash.



Could It Be Real In Certain Cases?

I have spent the last eight months securing defaced currency and, unlike those represented on your site, have been successful in some of my transactions.

I was introduced to this business by a former business partner of mine who has spent the last eleven years in Western Africa as a government contractor. He introduced me to a friend of his and a son to a former president of Nigeria.

Through the development of this relationship I was asked to help in receiving a consignment in the US, which I did. By starting with the real thing I was able to avoid most scams however, like others, I have spent some money in the wrong way by going against the advise of my African counterpart.

At this time I am exclusively working as a consultant for one family that has over $1.4 billion dollars. So far I have only processed approximately $2.5 million as my test and have just received a second consignment in excess of $30 million that will be processed shortly. The most you are able to keep for yourself to process and invest for them is 35%, though the most common fee is 20% after expenses.

Defaced currency is fairly common in West Africa but at a level that most people cannot access. As you know, a scam always originates from a real deal.

100% of these marked or defaced currencies came about from theft by government officials and dictators, such as Mobutu of Zaire, Abacha of Nigeria and others from Sierra Leone, etc. during their years in power. As such, families of former president's and senior staff members of Western African countries, and present presidents and managers of Security deposit organizations have substantial quantities of this currency.

Since the funds are stolen or pilfered from international aid programs, natural resources, smuggling etc. it must be kept out of traditional banking systems and is usually hidden in special security houses or within their private residences.

They have to be coated or stamped so as to render them useless to anyone but the owners or those with the ability to make them negotiable again.The process also makes it easier to smuggle the currency out of the country.

There are two types of defaced currency, the "black bills" which is a chromatography process and the "stamped" bills which usually have the marking of a royal or official seal and the name of the president of the country or a stamp bearing the marking "not legal tender" in red or black.

Both defacing processes require a special chemical to restore the currency in its original state. This chemical can only be purchased in Switzerland officially and on the black market in some parts of Russia and Africa. The chemical for the stamped bills is different than that of the defaced bills and will not work the same.

Switzerland is the main chemical depository because it is the headquarters for worldwide production of currency printing supplies, such as inks and chemicals. It is believed that the Federal Reserve is behind this process however I have not confirmed this yet.

The official agent in Switzerland is called the World Wide Organization ( WWO ) which is a private banking organization. You must be an invited member to even access anyone at this place. Joining the organization will cost you $250,000 up front.

There are other depositories in the East block and at printing and minting offices throughout Africa however most officials within these organizations are so corrupt that it is difficult to determine who is real and who is there to take you for a ride.

To acquire the chemical, you must know someone at the depository or be invited by the owner of the consignment. Each consignment contains a defaced certificate indicating the chemical codes required for the refacing process.

This is a tricky process and not always 100% guaranteed. You should never have to pay upfront anything at this level. If they have the real chemical then they will accept payment from the cleaning of the bills on an even exchange basis. The people with the chemicals such as the WWO will charge you 1% of the refaced amount with a minimum of $5 million required to reface at a time.

If you are able to get the chemical from another depository you could be charged up to $360,000 including the catalysts to do $3 million at a time. In general, most secondary sources can cost you up to 10% of what you will be cleaning.

There are other entities who have the older version of the chemical which is electrically charged rather than chemically charged, these people will only charge up to $60,000 for one gallon but it is not that effective, quite complex to use and must be used all at once since it loses its charge after the container is opened.

Any chemicals that you see delivered in a plastic bottle will not work as the chemical reacts to plastic polymers and this surely is a scam.

Regarding stories from scammed people where a small sample is opened and a couple of bills tested. These samples originate from chemicals that have been reversed engineered and really do not have the chemical power to clean large amounts of currency and are therefore useless.

The currency owners may know how to reface the currencies themselves, but what happens when they die or are removed from power?

This is where your scams and opportunities happen. You have servants or small time government officials that get their hands on these "consignments" and knowing that they are incapable of obtaining the chemicals to reface the bills, offer them to ignorant investors motivated by greed and a quick buck. They can generate substantial income and never have to worry about getting the real chemical.

Should the dictator or principal die, you have the family trying to make this money good, but since they have been cut off from the family wealth or are been watched by the local and international authorities the job is not an easy one.

They are forced to find someone on the outside that is low profile in which they can trust and through this individual transfer these bills with chemicals for re-facing and then invest these funds on their behalf. Scammers will also pose as family members of ex presidents, dictators etc... to scam the unwary.

The best advise though for your readers is two fold: 1. Never go anywhere. If the people have what they suggest, they will always come to you. 2. Never pay for anything upfront unless you see it and test it with your own eyes and hands first and always keep what is delivered to you, never allow it to get back in the hands of those who brought it to you.

If you can keep these two rules you are bound to succeed and weed out the fakes.

You will never "find" this kind of money laying around unless you are well connected in Africa. If you do come across some black bills there is only one way to find out if they are real and that is through the paper pattern.

If you look at a new $100 or $50 bill on a side angle to the light, you will notice a slight crisscross pattern in the paper fiber. The same pattern will be found on a defaced bill as the blackened chemical reaction will dehydrate the bill to a point were this pattern is also visible.

If you cannot see any patterns on the paper then its 100% fake and just a regular paper. Another way of testing the bill is just by placing it in water. If it is a real defaced bill, it will self-destruct within a minute whereas regular paper that has been printed black will not self destruct that quickly.

To verify that stamped bills are real, look at the paper, security strip, water mark and the fine print on the bills. If it is all there they should be good.

You are, however, never allowed to check the whole box. They will only let you have access to the top of the box and since they are mostly packaged in blister bags you cannot see the rest of the contents to verify that they are real.

M. A. 03/06/02

During circa 1965 thru 1995 the U.S. funneled over $15 billion into certain African countries, most notably Zaire, which was run by the dictator Mobutu. Many of his trusted associates were routinely given millions as gifts for performing mundane affairs of state.

The funds were US currency, provided by the CIA and other groups such as IMF - World Bank etc, basically provided so that our government could stage covert operations in Africa and Middle East from Zaire and nearby regions.

The officials there all placed their personal "chops" on the notes to demonstrate ownership of the funds for purposes of trade between officials. There is apparently $12 Billion in marked US currency still outstanding.

The Secret Service advises me that recovery is a straight-forward process of depositing it in an American Bank or a member of our federal reserve system. The Federal Reserve system indicates that while they only deal with banks, not individuals, all such currency is redeemable.

R. E. 04/02/02

Anyone claiming to be related to Mobutu will have no problem communicating with you in French and most likely live in France or Belgium. If he is in Morocco, it's a scam. In addition, if they tell you the bills are secured in a security vault with a security finance company in Morocco or the number 874.76.27.27.959.60 matches any in your correspondence, it's a scam. You might also ask him where his brother Jelingo Mobutu is at this time.

Since Mobutu's death most of his $32+ Billion that he pilfered from Congo/Zaire has either been seized or has been placed in foreign banks and is tightly controlled by other than his immediate family.

Most of the family's known wealth has been seized by various governments and returned to the country of origin, what is known to be in existence is stamped notes with his seal on it. These have been stolen by various government officials and petty thieves. Defaced money is completely black and stamped would have the seal of Mobutu on the bills and either be a red or black stamp.

A real transaction will always allow you to pay for the shipping charges at arrival and not prior to departure. SO DON'T SEND ANY UP FRONT CASH.

If you do, it will always end up bad. They start with a small expense and once they have you hooked you will have all kinds of other fees. They usually never exceed $10,000 per incident but over time will cost you a small fortune.

M.A. 04/02/02


Of Course It Is

It is true what MA reported. The banknotes were blackened by the US secret services to ensure influence over dictators like Idi Amin or Mobutu. Now the US secret service are trying to criminalize the whole thing even though it was originally them corrupting African countries to assert US influence.

Their influence includes the ongoing sanitizing of the internet for key phrases concerning the cleaning chemicals and falsely publishing stories of criminals using Iodine and vaseline to blacken the notes.

Nowadays, these notes are traveling around the world, mainly other African countries. The US tries to get back some of the money utilizing their embassies offering the real liquid for around 60000 US$/ litre. Then, the people who trusted them found themselves in prison real quick, even though there is no legal reason for that.

I know the story is true, but I do not know yet the exact chemical composition to clean (SSD., tebi-matontic, automatic, OYI, photochem...all bullshit; better to use TLC, HPLC, '...benz...').

I would like to exchange my knowledge with other hunters. If there are people out there who know the composition, do not hesitate to contact me, it will be not be of disadvantage.

Carl Werner 09/15/02

Note: I can't even get the Secret Service to acknowledge the site, let alone worry about them trying to delete any information. No conspiracy, or fleet of black Suburbans in my driveway, that I can see.


Some terms and company names mentioned relative to this scam.

OYI
ASBA Bank of South Africa
Skyway Inc.


A Cashless Society May Occur First

I received a consignment of this "black money" several years ago. To this date, I have not found the correct chemical nor have I found anyone who has. I do believe that some or all of the paper I possess is truly "defaced currency".

Your site is very informative, but my faith is still not shaken. I was hoping you could put me in touch with others who may possess more info regarding this stuff. Some day I may find the secret.

JP 10/17/02


Desperation and Dumb Advice

I have been scammed by some Africans and invested $200,000 which they turned into black money and then said they needed a chemical to clean it . (YOU KNOW THE STORY!).

Anyway, I gave them another $15,000 and they ran away.

Now I know that all the other black money with it is fake, but I want to know is it true that I can wash the real notes with normal soap powder or washing fluid. I still have my real notes with me but they are all black....

Your advice would be highly appreciated,

Thanks & Regards, DK 05/27/03


I have yet to hear of any marked money actually being real but I would even try self-collected bull semen ( if I thought it would work), to get back some of my money.

After all, what harm could come from trying different solutions on small samples.

Still, I think it is probably scrap underneath but I hope you prove me wrong.

Les


A Carl Werner is looking for people who know the exact composition of the liquid so he can share the knowledge with the rest of the world through a website he will establish to combat this fraud.

lubum77@yahoo.de


"Wash-wash" scheme - Police make two arrests in alleged confidence scam

JENNIFER J. HOWARD - northfulton.com

11-10-03 A scheme to swindle thousands of dollars from people using a phony method to "wash" currency is surfacing in Alpharetta, and sadly, people are falling for it.

During the last year, Alpharetta police have had several cases of this "black money" flimflam, most recently arresting an illegal immigrant from Cameroon, Africa, during an undercover operation at the Comfort Suites on Mansell Road.

It was proof that a real "money laundering" scheme once confined to Africa and portions of Europe has made its way to the United States.

The recent swindling attempt began when Kenya Fonzecka approached a small business owner in Alpharetta about doubling his money. Fonzecka told the man he had some U.S. currency that had been covered with a chemical, camouflaging it, so it could be brought into the country undetected by government officials.

He offered to double the man`s money. He just needed help buying the expensive chemical to "wash" the money and convert it back to spend-able condition.

What Fonzecka didn't know was that he was trying to swindle a man who had a good friend in the Alpharetta Police Department, detective Craig Garner. Garner investigates white-collar crimes and also just happens to work on the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force.

The business owner immediately called Garner and a sting was set up.

Posing as a bookie, Garner met a second suspect, Nyofi Ndikintum, Oct. 30 in a room of the hotel.

Carrying a briefcase containing what the suspect believed to be $50,000 - actually it contained police books - Garner asked the suspect to prove to him the white paper he was being shown was allegedly $150,000 in U.S. currency.

Ndikintum said the money had been shipped to Africa as aid from the United States and the African government had masked the money for shipping purposes.

Garner gave the suspect $1,000 in U.S. currency to use for the demonstration. The suspect took one of the $100 bills out of the stack. He then took out two pieces of white paper shaped like currency and went to the restroom.

When he returned, the suspect placed the original $100 bill in tin foil, and poured a mysterious chemical on the two white pieces of paper and the bill, folding them in tin foil and placing them inside a phone book to keep pressure on the bills.

After about four minutes, the suspect took the tin foil out of the phone book, unfolded it and again went to the restroom.

When he returned, he poured another chemical on the two pieces of paper and the original $100 bill and began to wipe down the paper with what appeared to be iodine.

"He said he was washing them with water in the bathroom and in actuality he was doing a switch," Garner said.

Through sleight of hand, he had substituted two real $100 bills from his own pocket that had been covered with some type of waxing material, which as he wiped, caused the currency to appear.

Methods previously used in this sort of scheme turned the paper black, hence the name "black money." However, new methods now turn the money white.

"This is pretty prevalent in Europe and when people are in these other [African] countries," Garner said. "It's just now starting to surface in the United States."

So posing as the bookie looking to make a quick buck - or $50,000 quick bucks -Garner offered Ndikintum the briefcase.

It was agreed Garner would receive his original $50,000 back, plus $50,000 more of the newly "washed" money later in the afternoon.

Ndikintum attempted to open the case with the phony combination Garner had given him. While he was struggling with the case, Garner said he needed to have a cigarette and began to leave the hotel room.

Ndikintum stopped tinkering with the case and offered to walk Garner out to his car.
But the game was over, and he was arrested.

Meanwhile, Fonzecka who was observed in the lobby by U.S. Secret Service agents, witnessed the arrest and fled on foot.

He was arrested shortly thereafter by uniformed police officers outside the Starbucks coffee shop at North Point.

"We think there are probably a lot of cases not being reported because people are either ashamed or afraid to report it because if you obtain $50,000 free, you're defrauding the federal government," Garner said. "But people should report these cases because they have probably lost a lot of cash, and they are victims of fraud. It needs to stop."


Black Money Leaves You Feeling Dark

11-13-03 U.K. - Detectives are warning people not to get involved with a money scam which is currently operating across the country, including in Northamptonshire.

Officers from Northamptonshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit are issuing details of the fraud to alert people so that they can avoid it if confronted with it.

There are a number of variations to the fraud, which is believed to be linked to the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud, but the underlying point is that the money is unusable until it has been washed.

Business people or other individuals may be approached and informed of the existence of case loads of banknotes which are said to have been coated in a black substance or stamped in order to disguise their identity from the authorities or for ‘security purposes’.

Initially two or three coated notes are shown to the victim, who is told that the black coating can be removed by washing it with a special chemical compound. These notes are washed in front of the victim who is allowed to keep and spend the money.

Once hooked, the victim is shown a suitcase-sized container purporting to hold millions of US dollars covered in the black paint and again the victim is given a demonstration.

In fact, only a few real blackened US$100 bank notes are shown to the victim, and the special chemical is ordinary cleaning fluid that reacts with the black mixture. The remainder of the material in the case is blank, blackened paper.

In front of the victim, the criminal will appear to randomly select between two and four notes from the case. He will then wash them in a tiny portion of the solution, which he has with him, returning them to their original form as real bank notes. They are given to the victim who is invited to spend them or get them checked at the bank to confirm that they are genuine.

In reality, the criminal knows perfectly well which notes he is selecting and selects the only real ones that are there. A dexterous criminal will invite the victim to choose notes to clean and, by using a well-practiced sleight of hand similar to a card trick, trick the victim into selecting the genuine ones.

The circle is closed when the victim is offered the suitcase and chemicals at a reduced rate because the perpetrator does not have the funds to carry out the process himself.

On some occasions, as a sign of good faith, the victim may be able to keep the suitcase for a short time, until you obtain the money to buy the solution. To prevent you from opening the suitcase you could even be told that exposure to air will cause the black substance to ruin the money.

After an advance payment has been received from the victim, the chemicals are NOT delivered to the victim, who is left with suitcases full of worthless black paper.

Detective Sergeant John Hayes, Head of Northamptonshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We are aware that this fraud has occurred on at least one recent occasion in Northamptonshire and are keen to prevent other people from becoming victims. People are urged not to get involved with this scam, which at first might seem quite tempting. This is a serious fraud where people could lose a lot of money.”

Anyone who has been approached in this way, or anyone with any information as to who is responsible for this crime, are asked to call the Economic Crime Unit on 01604 700700.

northamptonshire.co.uk


They Ran Out of Black Money

I WENT TO U.A.E. AND I SAW THE MONEY MYSELF IN BUNDLES, BUT THE MONEY WAS CODED WITH SOME KIND OF SECURITY DEVICE AND IS NOT USEABLE UNTIL DECODED.

THE CODE IS NOT VISIBLE TO NAKED EYE AND CAN ONLY BE SEEN UNDER SOME KIND OF EQUIPMENT.

THEY HAVE CONTACTED SOME COMPANY IN SINGAPORE FOR THIS DECODING BUSINESS.

03/04


Black Money Scam Training Operation Busted

08/06 - Malta - Three Africans were jailed for two years after being found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud and defrauding a Maltese man of Lm12,000 in "a black money scam"

Benjamin Saygbe, 39, a Liberian, Yaya Traore, 31 and Yacou Doukoure, 29, born in the Ivory Coast, were accused of organising and belonging to a group of persons with a view to commit criminal offences, conspiring to commit a crime and fraudulently making an illicit gain of over Lm10,000 to the detriment of Anton Camilleri and other persons.

Camilleri filed a report with the police about a certain Tom, a refugee whom he used to employ. Accompanied by an unknown person, Tom had met Camilleri in St Paul's Bay and had asked him to keep a locked piece of luggage containing valuables. Tom further requested a loan of Lm1,000 which Camilleri gave him.

A few days later, Tom contacted Mr Camilleri again and asked whether he could lend him another Lm12,000. He was told that the money would be used to buy a special liquid that was meant to turn special black paper found in the luggage into cash. Camilleri agreed to lend him the money.

A few days later, Tom again met Camilleri and gave him a wrapped bottle and asked him to keep it in a safe place, together with the luggage. Camilleri then started receiving life threatening phone calls and the caller demanded €200,000. It was at this point that he filed a report with the police.

Police investigations revealed that the person referred to as Tom was Kaba Konate, an immigrant who was granted refugee status in Malta. Konate was not found, however, and police believe he went to Italy.

IWhen the luggage that had been given to Camilleri was opened by forensic experts, black papers the size of currency notes were found. Similar objects were found in one of the rooms of the flat where Konate used to live.

Investigations revealed the network Konate had with Yaya Traore, Yacou Doukoure and Benjamin Saygbe. The latter was staying at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard.

A search in his hotel room turned up a document, which gave step-by-step instructions on how to "blacken money". During the search, Saygbe grabbed one of the papers containing the instructions and tried to swallow it, but was prevented from doing so by the prompt intervention of the police.

Questioned about his action, the accused said he had tried to destroy the paper because it contained personal information about his bi-sexual orientation, but later said he had mistaken the paper. The police found no paper with any details about Saygbe's personal lifestyle.

When shown the black strips of paper, Doukoure first said these were "healing bandages" used in African rituals but later admitted that the black carbonized paper was meant to make people believe it was money.

A genuine currency note that had been blackened with ink was placed on top of wads of black paper and when selling these to people, who would be conned, they would be asked to "wash" the first note, which shed the ink and made one believe that the whole bundle of notes was real money.

He told the police that people would be duped into believing this and buy them and would later be convinced to buy an expensive liquid which would 'clean' the paper and turn it into real currency.

Doukoure said the idea had originated in Africa and the other two accused knew what he was doing. It was, Traore who had called him and agreed with him to come to Malta to carry out the scam.

The court noted that when Camilleri initially refused to hand over the Lm12,000, he started receiving threats and the person threatening him spoke about his two young children. This worried Camilleri and when he told his wife the whole story she asked him to hand over the money "for the sake of the children". Investigations showed that some of the anonymous calls to Camilleri were being made from Traore's phone.


Black Dollar Scammer Arrested with Cleaning Solution

08/06 - South Africa - A Humansdorp fishing family who lost more than R1-million in a "black dollar scam" had the last laugh when a fraudster, who had told them he could change pieces of paper into bank notes, was jailed for seven years.

Sierra Leone refugee Momo Kamara, 32, also known as William Jackson and believed to be the brains behind the scam, was jailed by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court. Magistrate Kenny Cooney ruled out imposing the prescribed 15-year minimum sentence, and said he took into consideration the 15 months Kamara had already spent in jail awaiting trial.

Leave to appeal against the conviction was refused. The Gladwells said they had been forced to sell their farm and other belongings to pay debts and had struggled to survive after losing R1,3-million.

Gladwell said he had been approached by three members of the Jackson family who created the impression they were children of a finance minister in Sierra Leone who had just died and that they had inherited two metal boxes containing millions in US dollars. The money had to be "cleansed" with a solution before it could turn back into its original form.

Gladwell was impressed when Kamara took a few notes from a bag and poured a "solution" on it and it "changed into dollars and rands before my very eyes".

When the solution ran out, Gladwell paid out various sums to buy more. Eventually, the couple became suspicious and informed the police, after which Kamara was arrested.


Nigerians foiled in black banknote scam in Vietnam

06/06 - Vietnamese police have foiled three Nigerians in their scams duping thousands of dollars out of Vietnamese women who lent them money to ostensibly buy chemicals to restore ‘blackened US banknotes’.

A source said they had been deported from Vietnam.

The police refused to reveal their names or say whether the three cases were related, but they happened with different women earlier this year by different Nigerians with the same trick.

In April, one Nigerian befriended a café owner in southern Vung Tau resort city and promised to give her a share in a restaurant he was about to open if she lent him US$20,000 to buy chemicals to restore blackened banknotes worth an astronomical US$1 billion.

He claimed he had purposefully blackened the notes to dodge customs screenings and taxation.

He then did an experiment. After rubbing and cleansing in a ‘special solution’, he managed to turn two blackened papers the size of US$100 banknotes into real cash.

He generously gifted her the two notes.

The gullible woman later lent him $7,000 before being handed a stack of supposed banknotes wrapped in thick paper. He said the money had been treated with chemicals but had to wait for eight hours in cold temperatures before taking effect.

She then put the stack in her fridge and, after eight hours, opened it only to discover they were just plain paper.

Meanwhile, the ‘billionaire’ had fled.

A similar case occurred the following month with a woman in Ho Chi Minh City, who got to know a man claiming to be Brazilian through Internet chat.

The ‘Brazilian’, who is in fact Nigerian, flew to Vietnam and told her he had inherited $6.5 million which he wanted to invest in Vietnam.

He added the $500,000 he had initially transported to Vietnam had turned black and he needed $40,000 to buy chemicals.

Another woman also in Ho Chi Minh City was similarly defrauded of $30,000.

A policeman told Thanh Nien the tricksters secretly slid real banknotes underneath the black papers during ‘chemical treatment’ and secretly slipped the black papers out. The ‘chemical solution’ is just plain water, he added.

Reported by Dam Huy – Translated by Hoang Bao - Thanh Nien Daily News


Four foreigners appeared at Court for allegedly conning a Harare businessman of $3 billion to clean currency.

06/06 - (Zimbabwe) - Two Congolese nationals — Patient Mpiana Ndala and Kinwa Salamu — together with Mohamed Conde and Boting Kawonde, both from the Equatorial Guinea, were formally charged with fraud.

Harare magistrate Mrs Faith Mushure remanded the four in custody pending ruling on their bail application today. Responding to the application, prosecutor Mr Servious Kufandada strongly opposed bail saying Conde, Kawonde, Salamu and Ndala were likely to abscond.

He added that one of the suspects, Conde, was in possession of five different passports and that the State was due to find out his true identity. Mr Kufandada also argued that they were likely to commit similar offences while out of custody. He said police were still looking for the four’s accomplices who are believed to be in Mozambique.

The State alleges that in April the quartet and their accomplices, who are still on the run, approached Mr Konono Konono, the managing director of KK Fisheries in Harare, at his offices along Leopold Takawira Street. They allegedly misrepresented to him that they wanted to start a business in Zimbabwe before requesting Mr Konono to lease them one of his shops.

It is alleged that the four told Mr Konono that they had spoiled US$1,5 million that was stashed in a metal box. They added that it came through the Kenyan Embassy. The metal box that was referred to had fake US$100 notes packed together with only five genuine US$100 notes that were also covered in a black powder.

It is also the State’s case that the four suspected con-artists asked for accommodation and security of the metal box before the foreign currency could be cleaned. The unsuspecting Mr Konono allegedly booked three bedrooms for the four at a lodge in Waterfalls. After three days, the four went to Mr Konono’s offices in a taxi to show him the alleged metal box. He was also shown a fake document from the United States Federal Reserve Bureau with instructions to clean the notes.

One of them deliberately took five genuine US$100 notes from the box and convinced Mr Konono that the money was genuine before requesting for Z$3,5 billion to buy the mercury used to clean the money. Mr Konono was assured of getting a share out of the US$1,5 million and he gave them Z$3 billion intending to pay the balance later.

He was left in the custody of the box with fake US dollars. Two days later, detectives from the criminal investigation Department (CID) Serious Frauds section received information that Mr Konono was involved in a foreign currency deal with the foreigners and invited him for an interview.

During the interview, detectives discovered that Mr Konono had been conned and organised a trap to arrest Conde, Kawonde and Ndala at West End Clinic in the Avenues. Salamu was apprehended in the same manner at a hotel in the city.


Nigerian Conman Caught Running the Black Money Scam on ABC


Scam called 'best counterfeit scheme' ever seen
Suspect drove $80,000 SUV but failed to pay self-storage rent

By Saeed Ahmed - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

09/07 - When you haven't had a job in months, how do you deposit $10,000 in cash to your bank account every day?

If you're Conrad Maier-Sogheg, say Woodstock police, you make money. Literally.

The Cameroon native was arrested on charges of manufacturing thousands of fake dollar bills out of a storage unit — in a scheme so new and sophisticated that authorities have seen it attempted only once before in the United States.

It's called the Nigerian "black wash" scam, and "it's the best counterfeit scheme I have seen in my law enforcement career," said Sgt. Heath Johnston. "The bills look and feel real."

Police said Maier-Sogheg, 29, used laser templates, bearing images of $100, $50 and $20 bills, to imprint them onto pieces of currency-sized paper. He then added iodine to make the imprints visible. But because the process also turns the papers black, Maier-Sogheg "washed" them with processed Vitamin C powder to turn them green. Finally, he used baby powder to give the fake bills a gently-worn look.

Secret Service agents told Woodstock police that they uncovered such a scam just once before: in New York last year.

Maier-Sogheg ran his alleged operation from a self-storage unit on Ga. 92 that he had rented for six months. Employees saw him drive in and out at all hours in his $80,000 Land Rover. Once he failed to make the payment for his rental unit, workers went to empty it out and stumbled upon the operation.

Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said that a lot of what was confiscated "were just white pieces of paper that were cut out to resemble the size of a federal reserve note, as opposed to actual pieces of counterfeit currency."

But authorities also found fake money with serial numbers. They said Maier-Sogheg packaged the money into stacks of $10,000, and sold each stack for $1,000. Business, police said, was going well.

"He was dropping $10,000 of real money on a daily basis" into his bank account, Johnston said. "I saw $30,000 [deposited] in a four-day period."

Maier-Sogheg was charged with nine counts of felony forgery. His passport confiscated, he was released on a $50,000 bond. It was paid with real cash. The county jail checked.


Four Fraudsters Charged In "Black Money" Scheme

07/07 - Four men are facing federal charges in Chattanoga in connection with a "black money" scheme.

Charged are Sekou Fofana, Berry Wulah, Peter Wulah and Sekou Donzo, who were arrested in Bradley County on July 3 after their vehicle was stopped on I-75.

Special Agent Charles Wade of the Secret Service, a member of the African Financial Fraud Task Force in Dallas in 2003-2003, was called in to investigate the "advance fee fraud scheme" after he was contacted by Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble.

He said at the scene he was shown two black suitcases that were opened lying on the shoulder of the interstate just behind the suspects' vehicle. There were two large vessels in one of the cases. Each vessel was wrapped in black duct tape and contained a large, mostly empty, liquid container giving off a pungent chemical odor.

The lower side of the vessels had a hidden flap cut in and taped over. Inside the hidden flap, he observed six bundles of paper stacked neatly inside each of the hidden compartments.

The agent said he found numerous other items used in "black money" fraud.

He said the bundles are made to appear like stacks of U.S. currency. He said victims are asked to invest in the bundles.

Agent Wade said, "I explained to the trooper what he had found was not counterfeit, but was part of fraudulent activity to obtain real monies through passing the bundles off as real U.S. currency dyed to pass through customs."

The four suspects were taken to the Bradley County Jail for speeding and criminal simulation state charges, then later federal charges were brought.

Two of the suspects gave statements admitting they had traveled from New York City and New Castle, Del., to Pensacola, Fla. to use the "black money" bundles of paper in a scheme.

Fofana said he had met the intended victim in a taxicab in New York City. Fofana is a taxi driver there.

Fofana said he met the victim, a black male known only as "T', a few weeks ago and spoke with him in the taxi about investing. He said "T" gave him a phone number and asked that he meet him in Florida. He said the group agreed to sell four bundles of the paper for $50,000.

He said they made up the bundles, but "T" failed to show up. The men were headed home when their vehicle was stopped.


Black Money Blag Video by The Real Hustle TV Show


Beware Cyberscams involving Blackened Money

By Gregory D. Kesich - Portland Press Herald

11/06 - HERE ARE some of the Internet scams that have been investigated recently by the Portland office of the U.S. Secret Service:

SHARE THE WEALTH: Someone has come into a great fortune but needs your help to access it. For a small cash investment up front, they will share millions with you.

Known as an "advance fee fraud scheme," these scams often originate in West Africa and work by bleeding you dry through an endless series of small, incremental payments that seem tiny in comparison with the huge fortune that awaits.

CONGRATULATIONS: You receive a letter in the mail telling you that you are the winner of a multimillion-dollar international sweepstakes, and you're given a number to call to collect your winnings.

You receive a check for the first installment by overnight mail and are instructed to return a portion to the country of origin for taxes and handling, but you can wait until after the check clears. The money becomes available, and you pay the small fee.

But in a process that can take months, the check turns out to be a forgery. As the person who cashed it, you are responsible for the entire amount.

HELPING HAND: In an online chat room, you meet people from an underprivileged country. In the course of your conversations, you learn that the poor people are not receiving aid from charities because it is intercepted by corrupt government officials.

The scammer asks if you would accept the delivery of goods at your house, then repackage them and ship them directly to the village. You agree. The scammer even pays for the shipping. But you are unaware that the goods were bought using fraudulent credit cards from vendors who would not have agreed to foreign sales.

This makes you an unwitting accomplice to a criminal enterprise, and possibly guilty of a crime.

LONELY HEARTS CLUB: You meet someone through online dating services and develop a transoceanic relationship. After a few messages, your overseas partner sends a package of cash or travelers checks and asks you to buy yourself a new computer, and send one to the partner too.

When the money turns out to be fake, you're left holding the bag.

Mike Magalski calls it "the 10-minute rule."

That's how long the man in charge of Maine's office of the U.S. Secret Service will argue with someone who wants to believe that the Internet scam that has already cost him thousands of dollars might be a real business opportunity.

"People will come in and say, 'This is legit, isn't it?' and I say, 'No, it isn't, stop all correspondence,'" Magalski said. "Then they argue with us. They're hooked."

Stacks of documents on Magalski's desk attest to a growing problem with Internet con games, in which overseas operators seduce Maine residents into parting with their money in the hopes of getting rich quick. Since most losers are too embarrassed to report the crime, it's impossible to know how much has been lost to criminals who are nearly impossible to identify or track.

But the almost daily calls that Magalski gets from victims, their family members or concerned bankers have convinced the veteran special agent that more and more people are falling prey to the type of scam that was once a rarity in the state.

Two recent cases, in which Maine business owners who lost everything were convicted of conning others into sending money overseas, show how destructive the crimes can be. Magalski hopes that by talking about scams he will prevent someone else from getting suckered.

"I say to people, if you keep talking to them, you're going to lose money," he said. "If you think you're going to recoup your money and you keep your lines of communication open, you're going to lose again."

Magalski is a native of Cleveland, with a booming voice, shaved head and a goatee. He has been with the Secret Service for 23 years, including four years on the detail that guarded the first President Bush.

In 1996 he was chosen to be the agent in charge of the Portland office, investigating financial crimes such as counterfeiting and credit card fraud.

Magalski's office has investigated a wide array of Internet-based frauds that have trapped people who use Internet dating services, give to charitable organizations or become convinced that they have a way to get rich quick.

The victims often are naive or gullible. Sometimes, though, they are successful business people who think they are too smart to be fooled.

Increasingly, Magalski said, those crimes start with an e-mail, usually inviting the victim to take part in a financial windfall.

The same victims probably would not respond to a pitch that came through a letter in the mail, Magalski said. But sitting at a computer in the privacy of their own homes, sometimes late at night, people take risks that they would normally avoid.

A briefcase in the evidence room at the Secret Service's Middle Street office contains the bizarre evidence of one Internet scam that landed its victim in prison.

Strips of what looks like black construction paper, cut to the size of U.S. currency, are carefully stacked and wrapped in fat bundles. To Aaron Lewis, a Portland-area mortgage broker, this was $20 million in cash that had been dyed black in order to sneak it out of Africa. Lewis' overseas "partners" gave him the briefcase and convinced him that all he needed to remove the black dye was a special chemical solution.

Between March 2002 and July 2003, prosecutors say, Lewis raised over $400,000 from more than 20 investors promising them quick and large returns on a safe international currency arbitrage investment.

Lewis told investors he needed the money to pay taxes and release millions of dollars being held in a foreign bank account. In reality, he was wiring the money overseas to buy the chemical that he believed would turn his useless black paper into a fortune.

On Sept. 27, 2004, Lewis was sentenced to two years in federal prison for wire fraud and ordered to pay $491,000 in restitution to his victims.

In another case, Todd Denson, who ran a Westbrook-based window-washing company, placed a classified ad in the Portland Press Herald seeking investors.

Denson said he needed to borrow $40,000 for 48 hours, and promised a $20,000 return on investment. He said he needed the money to release more than $9 million in funds that he kept in an overseas bank account, money he had earned by inventing patented window-washing equipment.
Instead, prosecutors say, Denson shipped the money overseas to release what he had become convinced was millions of dollars in assets of a construction company he had acquired.

Prosecutors believe Denson spent $60,000 of his own funds before borrowing $78,000 from five victims. All of it was lost in the scam. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.

When he was being questioned by a Secret Service agent last January, Denson reminded the agent that the two had talked before. Denson said he had called the Secret Service office and asked the agent if he thought the overseas investment Denson was involved in was legitimate.

The agent said he was familiar with the scheme and warned him to stay away from it. He was told not to send any more money, and not to take anyone else's money to finance it.

Denson was told that "since he was aware of the scam, he could be held criminally liable for enticing other unsuspecting individuals into relinquishing their money," according to a court document written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark.

Despite the warning, Denson continued looking for "investors" to help him strike it rich.
Victims like Lewis and Denson go through a common psychological phenomenon known as a "social trap" that turns them into accomplices of the same con men who are trying to rob them, said Bill Thornton, a psychology professor at the University of Southern Maine.

Victims need to justify their losses, he said. The more they lose in the scam, the more convinced they become of its reality. "We don't think of ourselves as stupid people, so there is some self-deception and rationalization," Thornton said.

Magalski likens it to gambling. "It's like a poker player who knows he's probably going to get beat, but he's got so much in the pot, he has to keep going and feeding it," he said. "You've invested so much."

Magalski says it's difficult to say how much money has been lost to the scammers. While cases like those of Denson and Lewis are rare, his office hears almost daily from people who want to check out an e-mail they received, or from a financial institution concerned about a customer who is drawing large amounts of money out of his or her account.

People who lose money are often too embarrassed to report it, Magalski said, but he estimates that losses of $10,000 to $25,000 are common.

When the losses are reported, often little can be done. American law firms that purport to represent the scammers turn out to be fakes. So do the addresses on the documents. The con men and the money are typically out of the country, beyond reach.

The best Magalski can offer is advice. All of these crimes could have been prevented by ignoring the first e-mail.

"The best way to combat this is public education," he said.


Nigerians held in ‘black dollar scam’ granted bail by India High Court

New Delhi, 01/06: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to two Nigerian nationals who were arrested in connection with the ‘‘black dollar’’ racket last year.

Justice S K Agarwal ordered the release of the duo— Romonous and Mortin— on bail after it was submitted that the cheating case registered against them was not tenable under the law as there was no ‘‘wrongful gain’’ either to the accused or ‘‘wrongful loss’’ to the complainant to constitute an offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

They were arrested in August, 2005 from a hotel by the Delhi Police on a complaint by a TV scribe that the accused were cheating people by promising that they could multiply dollar currency notes.

During a sting operation by a TV channel, the accused demonstrated their ‘‘ability’’ to convert a dollar note into three after placing it between two soiled papers.

According to the complaint, both the Nigerian nationals asked the complainant to come back with 20,000 dollars.

Following a complaint lodged by the journalist, the two were arrested under Sections 420 (cheating) and 511 (attempt to cheat).

Seeking bail, their counsel Shilpi Jain told the judge that the case is pending trial.

Jain pleaded that since there was no monetary gain or loss in the said transaction purportedly induced in a sting operation, Section 420 would not be attracted in this case and hence the two were entitled to bail.

The court passed the bail order after the authorities of the Nigerian High Commission assured that they would not issue any duplicate travel documents to the accused to facilitate their exit from India.

It also asked the accused to furnish personal surety bonds and regularly visit the police station concerned.


Black Dollar Scam Warning - advisory with description

Secrets of the Black Money Scam (ABC News 20/20 slideshow)

Billion Dollar Black Dollar Nigerian Money Fraud - ABC Brian Ross Investigation

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