Another morning, another sad email from a Hong Kong banker. These Arab investors seem to be – pardon me – dying like flies, and their bankers all seem to think that I should be the one to profit from their families’ loss. But this is the first email to delve into my psyche and my – heretofore unknown to me – financial acumen.
FROM: Liu Yan Bank of China Ltd. 13/F. Bank of China Tower 1 Garden Road Hong Kong,
I sincerely ask for forgiveness for I know this may seem like a complete intrusion to your privacy but right about now this is my best option of communication. This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as frivolous could come into your mind; but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.
[A divine wish? Are you sure that God gets personally involved in these types of things?]
This letter must surprise you because we have never meet before neither in person nor by correspondence,but I believe that it takes just one day to meet or know someone either physically or through correspondence.
[Ah: the love-at-first-sight-or-email approach to financial illegality. Super.]
I got your contact through my personal search, you were revealed as being quite astute in private entrepreneurship,and one has no doubt in your ability to handle a financial business transaction.
[Well – I don’t like to brag, but I do indeed know my way around a credit card purchase. And I’ve been very successful in selling off excess furniture and personal effects whenever I move.]
I am Liu Yan a transfer supervisor operations in investment section in Bank of China Ltd. Secretariat of the BOCHK Charitable Foundation 13/F. Bank of China Tower, 1 Garden Road, Hong Kong. I have an obscured business suggestion for you. Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client General Mohammed Jassim Ali who work with the Iraqi forces and also business man made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a value of (I will disclose amount upon your reply) in my branch.
[There are two things I particularly like about this paragraph: First, the idea that this is an “obscured” business proposal – meaning what, exactly? – and second, that Mr. Liu is keeping the precise amount of General Ali’s deposit to himself until I demonstrate interest.]
Upon maturity several notices was sent to him, even early in the war,again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him,We later find out that General Mohammed Jassim Ali and his family had been killed during the war in a bomb blast that hit their home.
After further investigation it was also discovered that General Mohammed Jassim Ali did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, (I will disclose amount upon your reply) is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that, according to the laws of my country at the expiration 3 years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
[Um, I can think of a number of things in this story that bother me most. Just FYI.]
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to General Mohammed Jassim Ali so that you will be able to receive his funds. I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful.
[Oh yes – as with the last Hong Kong email, I think this sounds like a great idea. Baathist Iraqi general killed by U.S. forces somehow declared a non-Arab American women his next-of-kin. Who on earth would doubt this?]
I have contacted an attorney who will prepare the legal documents that will back you up as the next of kin to General Mohammed Jassim Ali, all what is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names, private phone number and Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also fill in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the transfer of the funds to an account that will be provided by you with my guidance.There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents.
[A “legalized method” for an illegal activity? Suddenly I have a new image of Hong Kong … ]
Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall discuss the percentage issue on your reply.
[Hunh. This whole proposal seems a little low in the numbers department. No disclosure of the deposit, and no disclosure of the percentages? I think I’ll go with the dead Saudi.]
If you are interested please send me your full names and current residential address, and I will prefer you to reach me on my private and secure email address below and finally after that I shall provide you with more details of this operation.
Best Regards Liu Yan
[And my regards to you, Mr. Liu. You’ve made my day. I’m not taking you up on your offer, but I definitely plan to put my “ability to handle a financial business transaction” to use by doing a little online shopping!]