The other day I was going through my folder of zany and humorous papers that I had started keeping when I first started practicing law. Among the gems that I had stuffed in the folder I found a letter (yes, and actual letter!) from “Dr. Kofi Mensah of the Congo Uphill Incorporation – Export/Import Division” offering me a 35% share of $45 million dollars belonging to President Mobutu Sese Seko of the Republic of the Congo. I was requested to “treat this as a matter of urgency and strict confidentiality,” which I did for many years. But I’m sure that Dr. Mensah has succesfully extracted his wealth by now and therefore I am no longer bound by the confidentiality provision. (see here for discussion of importance of confidentiality in Nigerian commercial transactions).
So I’m thinking of selling this letter, which comes complete with the stamped brown envelope, on eBay. What would it be worth, I wonder? This isn’t an E-mail folks. This is an actual hand addressed envelope with a pre-printed letter (also hand-signed by “Kofi”). If you would like to make me a reasonable offer before I put it on eBay I’m all ears (as Ross Perot used to say).
It does have some sentimental value for me as it represents the only correspondence I have ever received from Nigeria. By regular mail, that is.
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My formerly-esteemed colleague:
I was alerted to your recent publication and offer of sale of ourconfidential correspondence by our mutual acquaintance, who of course was asshocked and surprised as I at your breach of discretion. WhenI contacted you lo those many years ago, it was with the understandingthat you were a person of impeccable credentials and highest standardswho could be trusted to handle delicate matters of a confidential nature.
Unfortunately, it now appears that my trust in your good offices wassadly misplaced. This is unfortunate for both of us, as a goodlyportion of the $45,000,000 (FORTY-FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)that my initial and confidential correspondence to your person referred toremains unliberated from the peculiar financial limbo into whichcircumstances have placed it. As a result, I have an immediate needfor a person of high morals and ethics who can act in a trustworthymanner as my personal agent and as agent for the Congo UphillIncorporation (of which I am now Associate Director, having beenpromoted numerous times in the years following my initial correspondencefrom my former position in the Export/Import Division), which is nowknown simply as CUI, Ltd.
As it is apparent that you, sir, are no longer an appropriate repositoryfor my trust (both on my behalf and on behalf of CUI, Ltd.), it willof course be necessary for me to undertake an immediate and urgentsearch for another individual of high regard who is willing to act onour behalf, again for a reasonable compensation in United States dollars.As our technologies are now much improved over those at our disposal atthe time of my original letter to you, it has occurred to me that itwould be advantageous in connection with this search to utilize thefeatures of the global communications network which I call the Internet.Accordingly, I shall henceforth directly contact those who are referredto me as being trustworthy via this medium, which I anticipate willproduce the desired results that I seek.
While you, sir, have chosen to disregard our initial understandingconcerning the urgent and confidential nature of our businessrelationship, I do remain
(Dr.) Kofi MensahAssociate DirectorCUI, Ltd. (f/k/a Congo Uphill Incorporation)LagosNigeria
I never realized they used letters for that. Beautiful!