Discussione del mio romanzo d’esordio intitolato “Il rasoio del truffatore”.




Come alcuni di voi già sapranno, sono un ingegnere nigeriano che scrive di eventi politici che si svolgono nel continente africano. A volte scrivo anche di eventi di attualità che si verificano al di fuori del continente.

Ma quello che forse non sapete è che scrivo anche racconti, poesie e romanzi gialli.

La versione completa del mio nome potrebbe non essere facile da pronunciare per chi non viene dalla Nigeria orientale. Per questo motivo, scrivo i miei libri in forma anonima con una versione del mio secondo nome, Ndubichi.

Se siete amanti dei thriller internazionali e siete particolarmente interessati a quelle e-mail di spam inviate da “adorabili principi nigeriani” desiderosi di aiutarvi ad arricchirvi rapidamente, allora il mio romanzo potrebbe fare al caso vostro.


NBC news headline announcing the conviction of a Nigerian named Ramon Abbas (alias “Hushpuppi”) who became a multi-millionaire through email scams. He was also convicted for laundering over 300 million dollars through banks in various parts of the world

Actually, my crime fiction novel was inspired by an older version of the swindle, which existed in the 1980s and early 1990s, long before the birth of internet-based email scams. In the pre-internet era, Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud schemes were run almost exclusively by organized crime syndicates operating out of the commercial city of Lagos.

A real-life example of a swindle pulled off by such a syndicate was the 1990s era Banco Noroeste scam in which a group of Nigerian con-artists managed to deceive a São Paulo-based bank director, Nelson Sakaguchi, into transferring 242 million dollars belonging to his Brazilian Bank to them in a fake investment scheme centered around a non-existent building contract for a new international airport in Nigeria’s federal capital city of Abuja.

A former director of Union Bank of Nigeria named Emmanuel Nwude— with the aid of accomplices— had made the proposal to invest in the fake airport project to the Japanese director of Banco Noroeste while impersonating various Nigerian government officials, including Paul Ogwuma who was then the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is located in the federal city of Abuja

To convince Nelson Sakaguchi that the proposal was serious, the Nigeria-based swindlers organized an overseas “working meeting” in the British capital city of London. The Japanese banker was then flown from Brazil to UK and lodged in the presidential suite of a five-star hotel— all at the expense of the swindlers.

During face-to-face meetings with the swindlers in London, Sakaguchi was shown pictures of an empty land supposedly earmarked as the site for the international airport and several authentic-looking documents with the official letterhead of the central bank and other relevant federal agencies in Nigeria. The documents also bore all the correct rubber stamps.

Nelson Sakaguchi testified against the swindlers in Lagos High Court (July 2004)

When it looked like Sakaguchi was vacillating, the swindlers told him that they would give him a personal commission of 10 million dollars. The swindlers also told him that if they returned to Nigeria without his firm commitment to the offered deal, then that would be the end of it. Some other lucky foreign investor would get the “sweet deal” and gain the commission of 10 million dollars instead. After hearing that, Sakaguchi indicated his commitment. Between 1995 and 1998, the Japanese banker used various methods to transfer huge tranches of Banco Noroeste’s money to the swindlers.

The scam was accidentally discovered in December 1997 while Banco Noroeste was in the process of being acquired by the Spanish-owned Banco Santander.

The smooth operation of the scam had been disrupted by Banco Santander’s decade-long campaign (1997-2007) to insert itself into Brazil and expand by going on a buying spree of local banks.

The exposure of the fraud delayed the acquisition of Banco Noroeste till later in 1998. The Brazilian bank eventually collapsed in 2001 under the weight of the scandal surrounding the staggering scam.

Nelson Sakaguchi and the Nigerian fraudsters were arrested in 2004. Sakaguchi would be tried and jailed in Switzerland while his swindler-associates would suffer the same fate in Nigeria.

Emmanuel Nwude: A Next Level Scammer | by James Michael Andrews (Prism Media) | Medium
In pre-internet Nigeria, Emmanuel Nwude led a gang of swindlers who conned a Japanese director at Banco Noroeste out of $242 million


Before Nigeria entered the internet era, Advance Free Fraud was the exclusive preserve of well-organized Lagos city gangs who could afford to purchase telex, fax machines; spend hours on the telephone; spend a fortune on private courier agencies such as DHL, UPS and FedEx; and travel abroad to meet the foreigner being targeted.

Internet came to Nigeria in 1995, but did not gain wide usage until the beginning of the 21st century. The internet era broke the monopoly of the organized crime syndicates and opened up the scamming business to any dishonest individual with an email account and a dial-up modem connection via landline telephone.

This slower version of internet connection soon gave way to the expensive, but much faster, satellite-based broadband. Satellite broadband itself has been largely supplanted by the relatively cheaper fibre optic broadband and mobile phone internet.


My novel has nothing to do with scamming banks. Its plot revolves around classic victims of Nigerian scams— unfortunate foreign individuals from the wealthier corners of Earth.

The crime novel can be described as a sort of police procedural with some elements of historical, political and war fiction. Its plot is set between 1990 and 1994, when internet did not exist in Nigeria and scams were run almost exclusively by organized crime syndicates.

The plot has a Lagos city police detective on the trail of a group of ex-soldiers who had reinvented themselves as sweet-talking con artists specializing in the art of enticing unsuspecting European and American businessmen with “too–good–to–be– true” scams.

Although, Nigeria is the primary location where most of the events in the crime novel play out, there are other countries featured as well, such as USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Israel, Seychelles and Cayman Islands. Throughout the novel, brief references are made to the history, culture, politics and geography of Nigeria and some of the other countries featured as well.

Click the video trailer below to play:


You can actually get either the eBook (Kindle) version or Paperback from Amazon. Only the paperback can be bought in stores other than Amazon. You can order the paperback from the websites of Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Booktopia, Strand Book Store and many others.

For now, I have dropped the link to all thirteen Amazons stores. You can directly access the Amazon product page of the crime novel by clicking the link relevant to your country of residence:;;;;;;;

For now, the novel is available only in English language. No translations exist.


If you are partial to poetry, perhaps you might want to also check out my collection of poems titled “The Poetic Furnace”.

Select the relevant Amazon;;;;;;

The poetry book is available only in English language. No translations exist.


If you do manage to get my books via Amazon, please don’t forget to leave a review on the relevant Amazon product page.


My use of American English spellings is limited to scripting dialogue between two American characters. In every other case, I write English words using British spellings.

Nigeria is a Commonwealth country. So, I am more comfortable spelling English words the way I was taught in school.

So, if you do read my novel, you are likely to find colour instead of colorprogramme instead of program; fibre instead of fiber; aluminium instead of aluminum; travelled instead of traveled.

Similarly, the way American English speakers describe vehicles and their component parts differ from how they are described in the United Kingdom, Ireland and countries that belong to the Commonwealth of Nations.

In other words, if you read my books, your eyes are likely to come across a saloon car instead of a sedan; an accelerator pedal instead of a gas pedal; the windscreen instead of the windshield; the car’s bonnet instead of the car’s hood; the car’s boot instead of the car’s trunk.

Noah Webster posing for the painter with a smug look on his face

Don’t blame me for the divergence between American and British spellings. Blame Noah Webster (1758–1843) for it. After all, he was a pioneer among Americans who insisted that centre and plough be spelt as “center” and “plow”.

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