02 September 2006

Nigerians, move aside, please!

The burgeoning money mining industry of Nigerian e-mail operators is in for an unpleasant surprise. A new group of players is looking over this industry, and if their exploits in other areas of human endeavor are any indication of the future, then the future does not include any room for Nigerian folks to maneuver. Here comes a first salvo in this battle:

Dear Comrade,

I am Comrade Juan Balakov personal assistant to Mikhail Khodorkovsky once rated as the richest man in Russia and owner of YUKOS OIL (Russian largest oil company), chairman CEO: Menatep SBP Bank (a well reputable financial institution with its branches all Over the world).


I have a profiling amount in an excess of US$100.5M, which I seek you to accommodate for me.

You will be rewarded with 4% of the total sum for your partnership. Can you handle this?

As his personal assistant, I was authorized to transfer money of an American oil merchant for his last oil deal with my boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The funds have since left the shores of America to a European private bank where the final crediting is to be carried out. While I was on the process, my boss got arrested for his involvement in politics by financing the leading and opposing political parties (the Union of Right Forces, led by Boris Nemtsov, and Yabloko, a liberal/social democratic party led by Gregor Yavlinsky), which posed as a threat to President Vladimir Putin Second Tenure as Russian president. Since then, I have placed on hold all transactions concerning this amount.

There is no need to provide here the full text of the letter, besides, seeing as my financial situation is going to take a sudden turn, I am not inclined to share with you all the details.

I am using this opportunity to pass a few remarks to the author of the above letter.

Dear Juan,

Of course, your proposal is of a great interest to me. Especially since all my available funds are tied up right now in several ventures, such as my upcoming marriage to a rich widow in Benin, transfer of a load of diamonds from a family of a deceased South African politician and several others I am not at liberty to talk about. So I am in great need of cash, and your offer could not have landed at a better time.

The only item we have to settle is the percentage of my share. I realize that you are new to the market, but you have to understand that no one will become your partner for measly 4% of the amount you have stated. Please come up with a better offer, taking into account that anything less than 18.5% is an insult.

Now to the details of your letter. First about your name. You must realize, Ivan (allow me this small liberty), that no Russian male will be caught dead using a moniker like "Juan".

About your use of the word "comrade" - it is an outmoded term, as you very well know, and does not have any pleasant associations in the brain of the potential client, most probably brought up on Hollywood movies about these shocking KGB villains. Especially when you mix that "comrade" with "boss" later on in your letter.

Otherwise, please let Mikhail K. know that he could not have placed his trust in the hands of a person better than I. Rest assured that the moneys will be handled very carefully and in a most prudent manner befitting the best financial institutions.

Long live oil reserves of Mother Russia!