Adventures with a Cameroonian Scammer: Part 2

Continued from part 1… On Monday, September 28, 2009 I received the following response to my proposal.

Dear Brent Curry,

I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

After our meeting this morning, the committee were so happy about your product and we will be happy to see you handle this contract.

Now I will like to know your price per Treadmill Bike also I want you to know that this contract is lot one of ten meaning that it will continue till lot ten, if you happen to win this contract you will have the opportunity of winning the rest.

And your chances of winning this contract is to work according to my proposal, Like I said I am the chairman of this contract award committee, just to say that I have the authority to award the contract to any supplier/company that I considered creditable.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Chief Simon Ngwa Achu

To this, I responded:

Wow! That’s great news. I understand that you are ultimately looking to acquire 50000 bikes, so if we divide this into 10 lots, I would suggest 5000 bikes per lot. My typical price per Treadmill Bike is $2500 Canadian. For 5000 bikes, that would be 12.5 million Canadian dollars, or 5.1 billion Communaut√© Financi√®re Africaine Francs. Which currency would you like to pay with?

Let me know how we should proceed.

Attn: Brent,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Please I want you to give me the price in US$ because the committee will like to pay in United State Dollar also I want you to know that the lot one of this contract is 50,000 bikes.

Let me know if you are the one to sign this contract that will enable us discourse in person concerning the remaining lots.

Chief Achu

Oh my goodness! So if we win the contract for all ten lots, we could be selling 500 000 Treadmill Bikes? That’s fantastic news! The price per Treadmill Bike in US dollars is: $2288.

Yes, I am the one who would sign the contract for this deal.

Looking forward to further instruction.

At this point, I had not mentioned to my wife that I had passed on our phone number to Chief Simon. Therefore, you can imagine her surprise when the phone rang the next morning at 6am. On the other end, was a man with a thick accent claiming to be the former prime minister of Cameroon! We had a brief conversation. Chief Simon’s main objective seemed to be to speak with me in person to confirm that we were ready to take this deal to the next level. I assured him that I was and hoped that we could return to e-mail correspondence in the future. For the rest of the week, I made a point of unplugging our phone before going to bed. In the ensuing days our voicemail registered numerous missed calls left in the middle of the night. I wasn’t sure if my new business associate didn’t understand the concept of time zones, or if they were just a non-issue for the political super-elite.

The e-mails continued…

Attn; Brent Curry,

It was great talking with you this morning.

I am happy to deal directly with you as it is my intention to treat directly with someone that has power to make decision, to enable us quickly finalize in the arrangement.

This supply is a government contract sponsored by the CPDM Cameroon.

I am contacting you in this business at this level on personal basis because I want to make personal profit out of the contract.

Concerning the specification/model of the treadmill bike; I confirm that the model you presented is good and we are ready to work with it.

Like I said during our telephone conversation, the first lot of this contract will be 10,000 pieces of Treadmill Bikes. My plan is that you will give me a Treadmill Bikes at the rate of $2280 and when submitting your tender it will bear $2380 and after the contract has been awarded to you and you received the payment for the supply, you would return to me the additional money of $100 per Treadmill Bike.

I believe I have made things clear to you.

Apart from quantity, quality and duration; there are other conditions set out by the award committees that every supplier wishing to tender has to fulfill in order to qualify to tender.

The award Committee has decided that any company wishing to participate in this tender must be registered in Cameroon according to CAP 37 of OHADA Uniform Act, and the company must have been in existence for at least one year.

The payment terms is optional; the first option is, if the company attached to her bid an attestation worth 30% of the contract value from any Cameroon financial institution; the company will receive 100% payment up front immediately the contract is signed. Another option is, if the company chooses to tender without an attestation; the company will supply the goods before receiving any payment.

If we agreed to continue in this project, My part is to assist by making the payment condition easier for you. Since I am the one that contacted you in this business and due to you may not have any contact with a financial institution in Cameroon; I would provide you money worth 30% of the contract value to obtain the attestation from any Cameroon bank. But if you chooses to supply according to the second option; I would as well provide you money to handle the supply and when you received payment you return to me the money and the over-invoicing.

Due to my position as a politician in administrative post and the Chairman of this contract award committee, I am not permitted to operate personal business. Your part in this business is to register your company and submit your tender to avoid anybody knowing that I am having personal relationship with you; then I would award you the contract.

Like I said I am the chairman of this contract award committee, just to say that I have the authority to award the contract to any supplier/company that I considered creditable. Please I would like that you consider this transaction absolute confidential.

You can give me a call on this telephone no +237 766 306 90 at any time . I wait for your prompt reply.

Chief Simon Ngwa Achu.
The CPDM Congress Hall
P.O. Box 150 Bamenda, N/W Region,
Rep of Cameroon ,
Tel: +237 766 306 90

Hello Chief Simon,

I think I have discovered a potential hole in this plan. The Treadmill Bike is already advertised on my web site for $2500 Canadian. Anyone could do a quick currency exchange calculation and determine that that price translates to $2288 USD. When the awards committee sees that I am billing them at: $2380 per Treadmill Bike, they will get suspicious.

To reconcile this issue, I have put together a bonus package that we could include with each Treadmill Bike. I have managed to negotiate a bulk discount on these items, so I expect the actual cost of each bonus package will be $28.76 USD. This would bring the total cost for each treadmill bike to $2316.76 USD. If we charged $2380 USD per Treadmill Bike that would still leave you with a personal profit of $63.24 USD per Treadmill Bike.

I think you will really love the items that I have found for the Treadmill Bike Bonus Package. They include the following:
1 X-Wing Fighter Collectible Helmet
1 pair of Harry Potter Quidditch Goggles
1 Hello Kitty Backpack
1 pair of Peter Pan Getaway Boots
1 plastic Bicycle Basket with Plastic Daisies
1 pair of Handlebar Streamers

I have modified the promotional poster to depict the additional items that would be included with each Treadmill Bike.

Let me know your thoughts.

Treadmill Bike Promo for Cameroon with Bonus Package

For Chief Simon’s response to the Bonus Package Proposal, stay tuned for Part 3!

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