All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Sarkozy plays the Bongos

HandsImage via Wikipedia
I 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 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.'

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Being of a wistful mind your post has made me mentally connect the erstwhile magicican, Ali Bongo, with this family of millionaires. I'd like to think of him uttering the words "piff paff poff" as he magicked up another vast sum of money...

  2. Steve, it's probably as simple as that...what fools we are to think that working will get us wealth!

  3. Oh there are just far too many people in this world that think "scamming" is the new "working".

  4. I read today that Nigerians are the happiest people on earth. This is not surprising for a country full of scammers redistributing wealth from western countries via dodgy schemes and 'love' interests.

    Those of us left who work legally are 'les pigeons' to be fleeced to support Nigerian scammers along with corrupt African dictators in the name of solidarity. Oh, and French presidents so they can build up a nice little portfolio of secondary residences on the Cote d'Azur and the smarter parts of Paris.

    And everyone else with a smidgen of power.

    Why work? Why indeed!

  5. Well, now I'm feeling completely left out. I'm still only getting the Nigerian and Cote d'Ivoire scammers, no US servicemen for me! Pah! France certainly has much to be proud of in it's colonial past..... not. President Bongo - you couldn't make it up could you?

  6. My daughters are sure Sarkyteakozy will be voted out next year. I hope they are right.

    Must be nice to have everything done for you and just given to you in life. I'll never know, but I can imagine.

  7. Where do these names come from - like something from a pantomime, which of course it is.

  8. Ayak, yes, and a lot of those involved are in influential positions!

    Sarah, the more I lived in France the more I felt that I lived in a third world country.

    Wylie Girl,I think it's since our computer has moved to Costa Rica... even the spam is different.
    Why, I wonder, do I get offers of Viagra for the holidays and the opportunity to enlarge my penis this side of the Atlantic when I had no such offers in France?

    Kitty....but what do we get after the deluge...?

    Mark, if only we could shout 'behind you' and the poor sods who live in Gabon could find it was all a nightmare,,but for them there's no awakening to a dawn of freedom.
    If old style colonialism was bad..which I dispute...the new style of 'hands off' control is, if anything worse.

  9. I wonder if any Western names seem funny to Africans? I mean Ali Bongo, Canaan Banana, Ndabaningi Shitole ... How can they be taken seriously?

    Venturing a little further afield, there was once a Japanese diplomat in Kenya whose surname was Takahara. In Swahili, that translates as "I want to have diarrhoea."

  10. nodamnblog, Mr. Fly keeps up to date with South African news and some of the names do make me do a double take...but it must work the other way round too...

    Wasn't there something similar when Rolls Royce waned to call a model Silver Mist...which appeared to mean something distinctly at odds with the Rolls Royce image when translated to German?

  11. Those begging letters are a great source of amusement in our house. One time we actually called the number listed and left a message saying we were ready to give them our bank details...still waiting for a call back.

  12. amy, currently I have a lady claiming to be a mistress of an ex-president of the Philipines....

    I rather liked her being 'a' mistress not 'the' mistress

  13. Here it's just generally known as the 'Nigerian scam'. And people actually fall for it.

  14. We have those scammers in the US too. We call them politicians.

    I hope you sell your house soon!

  15. mrwriteon, how could anyone be so daft...and then I think who people elect.....

    Mary Anne Gruen, how right you are!
    Promising us to give us some of our own money while grabbing the lion's share themselves.

  16. FYI,

    I've closed my blog and opened a new one, also called The Other Side of Paris. This is my new home:

  17. Dumdad, I'll get my blogroll changed then...don't want to miss anything.

  18. Hello - Nice to meet you, Fly In the Web.

    I found what you've written interesting indeed. France has had an ambiguous policy in/towards Africa way back to De Gaulle. Omar Bongo, who had banned jokes about Pygmies, had financed French politicians for all of the time of his presidency; his son will undoubtedly continue to do so. Ivory Coast's Mbagbo is another who has remained in power with France's support. His dsys are however now counted because France is supporting his opponent. We do not have to worry about Mbagbo; he will retire to the South of France (Riviera) where he will live in comfort and wealth on the money he has stolen from his people, money France had given his country as financial aid and loans, loans which will never be repaid.

    I do not however agree with you that France is a 'third world country' now. Can you blog more about this please? Can you explain why you believe that it is.


  19. Marilyn, I've ordered your book on I'm hoping it will arrive in the next month or so!
    Nodamnblog's review made me keen to read it.

    The 'Francafrique' policies are pernicious, maintaining exploiters of their peoples in power as long as French companies can get their hands in the till too.
    Look, not only at sub Saharan Africa but at Tunisia...where French textile firms were out sourcing years before the term became fashionable.
    Given the current situation, where is France, with its 'mission civilatrice'?
    Sitting on its hands hoping that there will be 'business as usual'.

    Let us not forget either, France's hand in the events leading to the massacres in Rwanda as the country looked like leaving the French sphere of influence in Africa.

    A dirty tale, that of 'Francafrique'.

    I will certainly post on my perception of France as a third world country...I'll have a brood and put something together.

  20. I agree with you,Fly.

    I hope that you will find Die in Paris interesting. Please don't hold the printing errors against me, all the other errors you may hold against me.

  21. Marilyn, I should get my package in a few weeks' time...what happened to the old fashioned proof readers, I wonder?