Image via WikipediaI am selling my house in France. I have it advertised on the internet together with contact details.
Now, I gather from a friend in France that you call this 'having a presence on the internet'...or you do if you are the Performing Elephant and her ilk who make up in self publicity what they lack in knowledge and talent.
So, having a 'presence on the net' I receive a number of communications from people anxious to put vast sums of money at my disposal as they have entire confidence that I will give it back to them, minus a token million euros or so for what they kindly refer to as my 'trouble'.
Nowadays, some of them are claiming to be ex or serving American army personnel who have come upon untold illicit wealth in Iraq or Afghanistan and need my help to get it past whatever controls might be supposed to exist in these shreds of what were once countries, but most of them are African state governors and bankers.
I don't feel inclined to 'trouble'...but I have kept a note of those needing assistance and when I have sold the house I will be circulating the private bank account numbers - not the client account numbers - of the local crooked notaire to all those who have contacted me...and devil take the hindermost.
People tell me that these are scams and that involvement in them will leave one on the wrong side financially, but I have reason to believe that people are wrong.
Would President Chirac, President Sarkozy et al participate in a scam?
Yes, of course they would.
Would they however, participate in a scam which left them on the wrong side financially?
No, of course not.
This is how it worked......
According to what an official of BEAC - la Banque de l'Etats d'Afrique Central which is the central reserve for six states of central Africa - Gabonese officials have been siphoning off vast sums from the reserves for years, most of which appeared to fall into the hands of the then President of Gabon Omar Bongo.
While the PC among us may be shuddering in horror, fearing some link is about to be made between President Bongo and Alan Clark's remarks about Bongo-bongo land as a general term for sub-saharan Africa, let me just say that the remark caused no offence to the President himself.
He sent Mr. Clark one of his election posters ....... 'Gagnez avec Bongo'......advice which Presidents Chirac and Sarkozy took heed to follow.
President Bongo's perceived need was to maintain himself and his family in power.
He succeeded in this aim. After his death, he was succeeded by his son Ali-Ben Bongo.
However, he needed assistance in maintaining economic stability....for the Bongo family...and in quelling unrest...among the not-the-Bongo family, and this assistance was forthcoming from Gabon's ex colonial overlord - France.
This is the 'what is in it for the initiator of the scam' bit.
Moving to the 'what is in it for the person contacted by the scammer' bit it is alleged that President Bongo helped various French politicians, of both right and left but quite possibly not Jean-Marie Le Pen with financial contributions to their campaign funds. Particularly Presidents Chirac and Sarkozy.
I expect in so doing he was making no vulgar bribe -as in the case of Giscard d'Estaing and the Bokassa diamonds - but trying to assist them in their quest to learn from their colonial past.....to remodel France on the lines of post colonial Africa.
To install rule from the top in the interests of national security, where the President, fully informed by the state surveillance services, knows the needs of his people and distributes the goodies accordingly.
A process which might best be described by perverting the sense of Matthew chapter thirteen verse 12:
'For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.'