Daily Archives: 6 February 2004

Five Nigerians Charged in $242 Million ‘419’ Fraud

Abiola of Foreign Dispatches reports that five more Nigerians have been charged in ‘419’ scams of truly obscene proportions.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian prosecutors leveled 86 counts of fraud and conspiracy against five people Thursday for allegedly swindling a Brazilian bank of $242 million, in the biggest crackdown yet on the West African nation’s advance-fee fraud or “419” scams.

The five are accused of luring an employee of Sao Paulo’s Banco Noroeste into siphoning off the funds from his employer, persuading him he could land a share in a lucrative Nigerian construction contract if he just paid enough handling fees up front.

Me, I’m still waiting for a Magadan gold heiress to deposit her savings into my bank account. Who needs Madame Abacha?

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Tiny Sumotori Mainoumi Declines Public Office

The Japan Times Online of 7 February 2004 reports:

AOMORI (Kyodo) Former sumo wrestler Mainoumi on Friday declined an offer by the Liberal Democratic Party to run as its candidate in the summer House of Councilors election in his native Aomori Prefecture.

In a press statement, the sports commentator said he refused the offer from the LDP’s Aomori prefectural chapter because he does not believe the work he does on behalf of his hometown would be furthered if he became a lawmaker.

His management office said the 35-year-old Mainoumi, whose real name is Shuhei Nagao, has repeatedly turned down LDP requests since late last year.

Thank goodness. He was one of my favorite sumo wrestlers. (The perfect match was him against giant Konishiki.) I can’t name a favorite LDP politician.

Here’s a comment on the diminutive Mainoumi’s style, with an aside about Kyokushuzan–the Mongolian “Supermarket of Tricks”–from sumo commentator Mike Wesemann:

And as much as I harp on Kyokushuzan and Asanowaka, it’s true. If you’re dumb enough to charge straight ahead against these guys, I guess you deserve to lose. Whatever happened to the good ‘ol Mainoumi-Tomonohana tachiai days where both guys stood straight up and egged each other on with their hands just daring the other to make the first move. You’d be five seconds into a bout before anyone made contact.

“Despite being short and having a pint-size build, [Mainoumi] rose to become one of Japan’s top five wrestlers. He earned him[self] the nickname, the ‘department store of technique’.” I can hardly wait for the day when Arkansas sends its own “Wal-Mart of Cheap Tricks” to the sumo world.

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