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366. the Sarah Attah saga / 2005

The original approach was made under the guise of a booking enquiry for a Gîte in France rather than as an email fired hopefully at a trawled address.
As usual, we have eliminated all references to our correspondent – Mug-Punter has been substituted for his name.

From: Sarah Attah

From Miss Sarah Attah

Good thing to write you. I have a proposal for you-this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour against your will. I am Miss Sarah Attah, the only daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs ATTAH. My father was a highly reputable busnness magnet-(a Cocoa Merchant, Diamond and Gold Dealer)who operated in the capital of Ivory coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad year 2th March 2004.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time. But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 4 years old,and since then my father took me so special. Before his death on March 2/ 2004 he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of seventeen million,seven hundred thousand United State Dollars.(USD$17.700,000) deposited in SECURITY COMPANY in Europe

He further told him that he deposited the consigmnet in my name as the next of kin,and he registered the consigment as family valuables and finally issued a written instruction to his lawyer whom he said is in possession to handled all the necessary legal documents of the consigment which he was deposited in SECURITY COMPANY and he instructed the lawyer to handled the doucments to me when ever am in need of it. I am a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want an foreign partner who assist me to retrieved this consigment in SECURITY COMPANY in Europe. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast.The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life.I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.
Now permit me to ask these few questions:-
1.can you kindly tell me what the type of a profitable venture this fund will uesd to invest avoid waste of it. 1. Can you honestly help me as your daughter?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after your collected this consigment ?
Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible .
Thank you so much.
My sincere regards
Miss Sarah Attah

The following message was received in response to a cautious reply:

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 14:57:35 +0200
Subject: See documents and my photo.

Dear Mr.Mug-Punter,

Greetings and best wishes to you.Well,I have read your mail and have come to an understanding that you do have doubt or suspicion in regards to my approach to you.Whatever information or mails you have received or seen in the computer with stories as you said have notting to do with me.I do not want you to associate me with such as I have my good image and family name to protect.

I have also realised that for us to move forward with this transaction,I need to prove everything to you with documents and even go a step further by suggesting that we go into an understanding or a kind of contract agreement to ensure that everything be handled legally without cheating any body.This agreement will also specify very clearly the percentages each of us are entitled to receive at the end of the transaction.I made this suggestion to show you that I have good intention in coming to you and also to make sure that we are protected in all aspects of the transaction.Do tell me what you think of this idea.

In answer to your question about more information about myself, I am living alone in the family house at Lôt 15 rue de jardins Cocody, Abidjan. I am still single and a 2nd year student of economics in the University of Cocody here in Abidjan.I have a lap-top computer and I am surviving from the generousity of close friends and my church members.Currently,I am out of school since the death of my father.I hope to conclude my studies in UK after the successful conclusion of the transaction where I will stay for the investment of the money in UK.

As you requested,I have attached a copy of my photo and scanned copies of the documents showing evidence of the existence of the money.Please the documents are confidential family valuables which I am giving to you as a proof and so it is not meant for public view as I give it you in trust and confidence of your personality.Any other documents that may be required from me in respect to this transaction will also be made available from time to time.You see,I am ready to see this project move forward inspite of the fact that you have not send to me your personal information that I requested from you since the start of our correspondences.

I expect you to go through the documents and get back to me with your information as you have promised so that we can proceed towards the realisation of this project which you have promise to render your kind assistance.

God bless you.

Yours sincerely,


From: Our Correspondent

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 08:30:58 +0200
Subject: Documents and your photo

Dear Sarah

Thank you for sending the photo and the two documents.

I have studied these carefully. Do you realise that it will cost €24000 to release the trunk held in store?

If the object of the ‘legal partnership’ you seek is to find a partner who will put that kind of money up front in the promise of rich rewards, then I really am not your man! There is no need for me to go into my personal circumstances, but suffice it to say that I do not have, not could I possible raise, any sum like €24000! Even if I could raise it I have seen nothing to persuade me! And, since you have not provided any real evidence of what the trunk contains, the investment would be a highly risky one to say the least. The trunk could contain nothing more than family heirlooms! Where is the proof that it contains cash, other than hearsay evidence from your Father’s secretary!

I have to tell that I consider the charges shown on the documents to be excessive. I have been handling items in secure storage in London with one the UK’s leading companies and the charges for the first year on your documents are 9 times what I was paying in Londo!. The company consider that these charges quoted to be ‘extreme’ - their word not mine - and they consider a doubling of the demurrage charge to be ‘incredible’!

Furthermore I consider the two documents to be too elaborate to be genuine! I have been involved in a business which produced discount vouchers, which had to have the appearance of banknotes. So, I am very familiar with computer software which enables elaborate designs to be produced. Normal storage companies do not produce their legal agreement documents in such ways!

The photograph shows a beautiful young lady who appeared to be married, or to have been married. No evidence that it really is you!

In your first email you state - deposited in SECURITY COMPANY in Europe - then in a later email you state - I told you that the consignment is Spain where the company here moved it - now you produce documents to show it has been in the Ivory Coast all along! Why could you not have recovered it yourself - presumably because you did not have the funds to pay the demurrage costs! So, you are looking for someone to ‘bail you out’!

You tell me that your Father died on 2nd March 2004. I cannot understand why he would allow a bill of €4000 to mount in the period before his death. Surely if he was in France, he could have taken the trunk from storage at the end of the pre-paid 12 months, and placed it in secure storage in France at a far lower cost.

So you see that the items causing me doubts continue to mount, rather than the other way round.

I’m sorry, but I honestly do not think I can help you further.

Kind regards

Mr. Mug-Punter

From: Sarah Attah
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 13:35:09 +0200
Subject: For your understanding once more.

Dear Mug-Punter,

I have received your mail and the details of it did not go down well with me.You see,I have been following the direction of our correspondences very well with hope to make progress in this transaction.I have provided the documents as you requested to show to you that I am serious and determined to see to the success of the whole project.I also expected you to appreciate my efforts and do respond accordingly with the same determination and sense of purpose.I do not expect that you will continue to doubt my approach to you at this stage.However,I still want you to exhaust all other avenues which I have suggested in my efforts to prove my sincerity to you.

I am aware that there is money to be paid before releasing the consignment from the security company.I want you see the reason that I cannot pay this money by myself and that is the reason why I solicited for your kind assistance in the first place hoping that whatever you spent in the process you will be able to gain it with the reward of 10% and another 5% to take care of any expenses which you will incure as you assist me.Moreover,I have told you that you will help me to come over there to conclude my studies while the money is invested under your care.As you can see I do not have any negative mind in coming to you and cannot cheat you in any way since I will be coming over to continue my life.I want you understand that I cannot cheat you and still be there with you.

For your information,the money to be paid for the release of the consignment is not for my personal use as you are not required to pay the money here but to the affiliate office in Spain upon the collection of the consignment.You have to physically be present there in Spain to make the payment and collect the consignment from them.Note also that the content of the consignment is not in doubt as my late father told me that it is physical cash.I know that my father cannot tell me lies about the content of the consignment and even you as man cannot tell your own child lies about such thing for it is not done at all.I have told before to enter into an understanding or agreement so that we can be sure of what we are doing.This will help you erase any doubt and suspicion concerning the genuineness of this project.I have told you this before and I want you to look at the idea and comment on it.

It is not in my place to say how the company can arrange their documents for you to beleive and please note that different organisations have their perculiar ways of handling things that are in agreement with the laws of the land.I know that the company is a corporate institution and as responsible institution knows the implications of their action as they serve their customers.I am aware that the company operates under the guiding principles of the laws and therefore cannot question them.If you want further verifications from the company,you can go ahead and do that.

Let me clear this misinformation about the place of the consignment to you.The security company here is where the consignment was first deposited by my late father but as a result of political crisis going on here,the company decided to move the consignment to their affiliate office in Spain for safety reasons.It then follows that the documents must be in the name of the parent company where the depoist was made and it is here that we have process the claiming papers which will be used in claiming the consignment in Spain.

Sir, I have given you the opportunity to appreciate things the way they are and at the same time allow you to make your contribution as to the way to forward.Do show me your understanding of my situation and help me for the sake of humanity.I have told you that your assistance to me will not cause you any pain but that you will gain by helping me.

I wait for your response.


From: Our Correspondent
Date: 3 Apr 2005 14:54:00 +0200
Subject: For your understanding once more.

Dear Sarah

I apologise that my last comments ‘did not go down well with you’. I had hoped that you would understand why I said what I said.

I have just seen pictures from the Ivory Coast with an interview with your Archbishop on the sad death of Pope John Paul II. Strange coincidence in the light of our exchanges.

You ask me to go to Spain and pay for the recovery of the trunk.

I do not have €24000!

I cannot raise €24000!

Therefore I cannot do what you ask!

I have attached an extract from a website - the website I told you about containing details of the vast range of emails. I told you there were 212 listed for 2004, there are now 64 listed for 2005 so far, 2 of those from the Ivory Coast. There is also a separate website in which the recipient has posted the exchange of emails with a resident of Abidjan. The weird thing is that the content of those emails could almost be a carbon copy of the exchanges we have conducted. The recipient asked for sight of documents, received them, thought them to be genuine, went to the depository, and was shocked to be faced with a request for several thousand dollars for the recovery! Does it sound familiar to you?

There is one chance that I might still be prepared to help you. Here’s the deal.
a) I will open a new bank account in our joint names.
b) Since you live in the family home I suggest you seek a mortgage on the property, enough to generate €25000.
c) When you receive those mortgage funds I will supply you with the account details for you to deposit the €25000.
d) When that deposit is made I will arrange my planned visit to Spain and pick up the trunk using the funds to pay the demurrage.
e) I will then deposit the $17.7 million in the trunk into our joint account, and take 5% for my expenses.
f) Then we can get down to a joint venture to invest the rest of the funds.

This is my final offer!
Kind regards

Mr. Mug-Punter

From: Sarah Attah
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 14:05:40 +0200
Subject: Yes to your conditions.

Dear Mug-Punter,

I received your mail and have read the enitre contents.For your information,I do not want you to continue to associate me with other mails you have been receiving or have found out in the internet for I do not know what they are meant for.Do have time to follow my correspondences with you and you will know that I am real and genuine with my appraoch to you.

I accept that you do not have and cannot raise the money for the recovery of the consignment in Spain.I accept also that for the recovery of the consignment in Spain I need to mortgage our family house.To this effect,I will start arrangement to see how to raise the needed amount.

I accept that you should go ahead and open bank account in our joint names for this purpose.I will also inform you immediately I have raised the money so that you will send the account details.Once everything is ready,I will send the money to the account so that you can travel to Spain to claim the consignment.You will also deposit this money in the joint account after other expenses must have been paid so that we can proceed to invest the money in a good business.

I have accepted these conditions which you have given in good faith because I know that my intentions are real.This as you can see is enough determination from my side and a sure sign of my willingness to have you as my partner.I do hope that you will see reasons for you to send across to me your personal details for the purposes of building trust and confidence.As you know I only know you as Mug-Punter and therefore would like to have your full legal names.Your residential address is also needed.I also need a scanned copy of your national identity or driver's liecnce for recognition so that I will know the person that I am dealing with.If you are real and genuine you will see reasons for these and send them across to me immediately.

I will duely inform you as soon as I have raised the money so that we can proceed to retreive the consignment in Spain.

I ask for your understanding and cooperation .

Yours sincerely,


From: Our Correspondent
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 10:20:06 +0200
Subject: In response

Dear Sarah

An interesting response, It’s good that you have agreed so far, since that helps to mend some of the damage done by what I have been finding on the Internet.

However, it does not remove my doubts, since what you have done to date, and the information you have provided, is too close to what I have uncovered to be the kind of coincidence you seem to be suggesting. How is it that 276 individuals in the past 15 months, many of them from the Ivory Coast, are using similar text, and the most damning of all, similar so called ‘facts’?

You personally may be perfectly genuine, but I have a strong feeling that you are following a kind of ‘script’, provided by someone else, and that it is that person, who is driving these exchanges trying to create a situation, trying to manipulate me, and one which could be ‘dangerous’ for me. You continue to talk of building trust, but I do not think you are being honest with me. I asked about the photo you sent, and I asked you to provide proof that it really is you. You chose to ignore that!

I have posed some questions not all of which you have answered. For example - I’m puzzled by your request for my legal name - and yet you used my full name in the first two emails you sent to me, and I replied to the first, using my full name. You made contact with me using the holiday website advertising Gîtes. You still have not explained why me, why did you go through this company, and why this area of France? I have suspected all along that you did not send the first email - it appears to have come from you, but this point of you ignoring information you should have known, is of concern.

I attach a photo of myself. I took it whilst sitting at the computer, and you will see it has the date on it; so showing that it is up to date. I am a UK citizen living in France for the past three tears.

Planning ahead, you must bear in mind when negotiating your mortgage that this ‘debt’ races ahead all the time!

     v       As of 9th April       =         €23600

     v       By 30th April         =         €24650

     v       By 31st May           =         €26200

     v       By 30th June          =         €27700

Your loan therefore must take account of that growth, and repayments until the trunk is recovered and the contents banked. You must add in the monthly repayment amounts and a contingency against delays by the security company.

I will open an account for these funds in a bank far removed from any of my personal accounts, not even the same bank. I will use an entirely different bank with no association to myself. This will ensure that there is a level of security to reassure you. However, I will need a signed letter on your own stationery from you agreeing to your wish for the account to be opened by me in our joint names, since you will fall into the category of a non-resident. You could easily prepare such a letter and attach it to an email as a Word document. I will also consult a Notaire in order to establish the possible use of an escrow account once the funds are recovered.

At this point I am unable to project dates when I can visit Spain. Anyway I do not even know where in Spain the trunk is stored, nor how it can be recovered, and when recovered, how it can be opened. So we need to plan ahead carefully. I should add that from this point I will not accept any liability for time delays, the mounting debt, or what is, or is not, found in the trunk.

I am also concerned to be assured that the funds you say are in the trunk, are legitimately ‘out of the country’. I have no wish to be involved in legal difficulties with the Government of the Ivory Coast because banknotes have been ‘exported’ illegally by your late Father! I would like to know how it is that your Father had so much ‘cash’ with him. It is an incredible amount just to ‘carry around’! Someone other than you may also be trying to recover that money!

By this point you may be puzzled by my reactions. I am ready to bring these exchanges to an end, and will do so, unless you can provide some pretty convincing answers for me. Now, it’s getting serious! On the other hand, I remain willing to help someone with problems, irrespective of any ‘reward’.

Kind regards

Mr. Mug-Punter

From: Sarah Attah
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 13:35:00 +0200
Subject: What we have to do.

Dear Mug-Punter,

Greetings! I have to appologies for my late response to your mail.I have read your mail over and over again and have come to the conclusion that you still have doubts about this transaction.I cannot understand why you have doubted very information and documents that I have given to you even my photograph.I requested for your passport copy which you did not give to me and instead you sent a photograph you said that is yours with dates.How do I beleive that the photo is yours.All about photographs is a thing of sophiscation of the camera and if I have that kind of camera I will be able to give you photo with dates on it.Secondly,I requested for your residential address and telephone number so that I can know and recognise the person that I am dealing with but up till now you have not sent to me such informations.How can I trust you with such a big responsibilty of being the custodian of the money when it is claimed from the company.

In my own understanding I have deemed it necessary to engage the services of an attorney to draft an agreement which will give you and I legal protection in this transaction.I do hope that this arrangement will help erase all doubts and help us build the needed trust and confidence.Below is his contact information:
Laurent Criag & Associates
Tel/fax:+22 507 429 981

Contact person: Hon.Laurent Criag

Contact him immediately so that he can prepare an agreement which will be signed by both of us for proper understanding of ourselves and the project for which your assistance is soilicited.I hope that you will understand this move and your cooperations.

Thanks and God bless you as I wait to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,


From: Our Correspondent
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 09:35:47 +0200
Subject: 419 Spammers

Dear Sarah

Thank you for the latest email.

Are you a 419 Spammer? Suggest you take a look at the website below:

Report Summary
24th November 2004
Apparent SenderMISS SARAH GUEI
Return <>
MethodAnother classic '419' style of scam - sender claims to be trying to pass on large ammounts of money. But on answering you'll be hit with requests for 'administration fees' before you see any money. These fees will keep coming until you give up, but there is no money!
Bogus Web Content?No
URL of web contentN/A
WARNINGS1. A '419' style of scam. Scammer claims to be relative of an important person, (in this case the daughter of a wealthy trader) and wishes you to help 'transfer' their money for a financial reward. If you go along with them you will be hit with requests for money to cover 'administration fees', but you'll never actually see any returns, and the scammers will simply disappear!
2. This scam appears to be a 'female' variant of one reported yesterday.
3. Notice that the sender uses a free, web based email address which is basically untraceable.

I am not prepared to move forward until you answer my questions - all of them!

Kind regards

Mr. Mug-Punter

Our correspondent has received nothing further from 'Sarah' since sending the above email.

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