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Britain warns on conmen

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd June 2005 03:00 AM

THE British High Commission has warned the public to be on the look out for conmen posing as agents from the commission’s ‘chemical’ department.

THE British High Commission has warned the public to be on the look out for conmen posing as agents from the commission’s ‘chemical’ department.

By Felix Osike

THE British High Commission has warned the public to be on the look out for conmen posing as agents from the commission’s ‘chemical’ department.

The warning comes amid reports that several people had lost thousands of dollars or millions of shillings to the fraudsters dealing in fake diamonds and black dollars.
“There is no such a thing as a chemical department at the commission,” said a commission official yesterday. In one case, a civil servant lost $1,800 to the conmen who claimed they had gemstones to sell.

“They contacted me on a private number, they came with a document purportedly signed by an official from the British High Commission Chemical Department giving price details of the various chemicals that they said were needed to clean the diamonds. But they have never come back since they took the money,” said one of the victims who declined to be named.

Suspects pretend to be traders looking for joint ventures or items to buy but later bring in diamonds and dollars business.

Sometimes they show their potential clients pinkish granite particles wrapped in silver papers disguised as diamonds.

The group has ripped business people and civil servants of millions of shillings or thousands of dollars after convincing them to purchase fake blackened papers claiming they could be turned into genuine dollars by washing them, with special chemicals. “Some of these things you forget and move on with life, “said another victim.

According to the fake document, the price of the chemicals range from $8,000 to $44,000. chemicals listed are Vetrol paste, Gustavisk automatic Solution 0.12B and Plastic Automatic Solution.

The buyers are told to mark X the type of chemical and the amount to be paid. The buyers are required to make full payment within one week. “If failed to cooperate with the said period, the embassy will terminate your request,” reads the fake offer letter. The Police said members of the racket are called Abafela and have middlemen called, “liners,” who link them to potential victims. The people known to the group and their dealings are called Sonalas.

Britain warns on conmen

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