Immunity to the Nigerian Tricksters


I work for Mr Sol Kerzner and head up his private office in London. I refer to the article that you published on the website CDC Gaming – namely : Even Sol Kerzner… This article is totally incorrect and defamatory to Mr Kerzner’s good name and reputation.  It shows a total disregard for any fact checking of the story (by the author and publication) prior to publication.  Even the most cursory fact checking on Mr Kerzner’s career would reveal that he sold out completely from Sun International South Africa in the early 1990’s and has had no ownership, role or interests whatsoever in that company for many years now.  We insist that you publish a retraction of the article immediately as it is simply factually incorrect and damaging to Mr Kerzner’s reputation.  Please see attached a current CV of Mr Kerzner with the correct facts and dates relevant to his career.

 

Nigeria a healthy economy & Boko Haram and oil prices are mere dark clouds on the horizon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65% of the Nigerian population live below the poverty line and underneath this “healthy” economy corruption prevails and dominates. Suggest you update your reading on Nigeria, perhaps a few “Economist Reports”

 

The blog on Nigerian trickster produced some interesting feedback.  Sol Kernzer’s attorney thought it defaming and inaccurate, as Mr. Kerzner is not longer associated with Sun International and has not been since some time in the 1990s.   I am therefore altering the blog to reflect that reality.

Another person took umbrage to my characterization of Nigeria.  On that count I am on more sold ground, as even in the original article on Sun International in Nigeria, a spokesman for the company says it is a very good place to do business because of the economy.  But here again I am not going to quibble, I am altering that also.

And finally, several members of my family wrote to say they were sure my girl friend and her dry cleaning lover were hiding in our house in Dayton, but given the amount of snow this year, no one would be able to find them.  I don’t need to change that part, she is gone whether to Dayton, Hawaii or Nigeria matters little.

 

Send me your bank account information. I will deposit $30 million dollars. And we will share the wealth. What could be wrong with that plan? In the 1990s, I got dozens of letters from Nigeria. The theme was always the same, although the details changed from letter to letter. Each one was written by a heartbroken widow of some high official or bank officer in Nigeria. Her husband had left her millions and millions of dollars. However, due to the treachery of corrupt government officials she could not get the money out of Nigeria, unless I was willing to help her. I could help by using my bank account to transfer the money out of Nigeria. After the funds were safely in my bank, she would share the wealth with me.

At first I thought it was a joke, but then I began to suspect the CIA or some other governmental agency of trying to entrap me. For years, I kept a file with every letter carefully arranged in chronological order to document the attempts. As technology changed, the letters stopped coming and eventually I threw away the file. Now occasionally I get an email offering comparable deals, but never with as much money and the tales never as sad. The pipeline of rich, but impoverished widows in Nigeria must be drying up. When I read that Sun International is being investigated due to the questionable background of some of the investors in its Nigerian venture I laughed out loud. Had one of the widows trapped one of the smartest guys in gaming?

South African hotel and gaming group Sun International said on Tuesday that Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had launched a probe into its initial investment in the Tourist Company of Nigeria (TCN). The investigation is the latest cloud over South African investment into the continent’s largest economy after Nigerian authorities imposed a $3.9 billion fine on telecoms group MTN for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards. Farr explains that they had invested 50 million US dollars into the operation, which consists of two hotels and a casino. Reuters, 1-27-16

The reason that Sun International caught my eye is due to its founder, Sol Kerzner.  He is no longer with the company, he made such a dramatic impression on me thirty years ago.  And the idea that a company he founded was mired in Nigeria was amusing to me.  Sol is legendary in the world of casino gambling, he ranks with Steve Wynn, Stanley Ho, Sheldon Adelson and Kerry Packer. In 1979, he opened the Sun City casino in Bophuthatswana. It was an independent black African state close enough to Pretoria and Johannesburg to ensure success. Gambling was illegal in the apartheid South Africa of the time and that gave Sun City a monopoly on gambling in the region. Over time Sun City grew to into a world class resort with four hotels, lakes, a water park, golf courses and entertainment venues; it hosted the Miss Universe pageant five times.

I first heard Kerzner speak in 1982 at a Laventhol & Horwath Annual Gaming Conference and International Gaming Congress in Las Vegas. The conference was a great place for a young executive to learn about the industry, the biggest names in gaming spoke there. Intentionally or inadvertently they told us who they were and what made them tick. As businessmen they were naturally conservative and measured in their remarks, especially when talking about their unique methods. But they were also often proud men not above a little chest thumping. Sol Kerzner was a chest thumper extraordinaire. At the time, he was little known outside of Africa except in the financial community. For those of us on the backbenches it was our first time to see him and hear about his miracle in the jungle. He told a great story and held our attention.

Toward the end of his presentation, he asked rhetorically; “What does it take to succeed in the gaming industry?” “BIG BRASS BALLS” he shouted out. We were stunned and that was not the last time he stunned the industry. In 1994, Kerzner took a fifty percent interest in the Mohegan tribe’s casino in Connecticut. Unlike his American counterparts he could see the potential in Indian gaming and he was willing to risk his money on an Indian casino when they were not. As a result, Sun International received 5 percent of net revenues from Mohegan Sun for 20 years. Lots of water has passed under the bridge for Sol Kernzer, but he is still a legend.

Sun International is a successful company and I am not saying it is in any way guilty of anything in Nigeria. But it is being investigated for accepting funds from a questionable source in the land of questionable sources and that it is too funny to ignore. In preparation for this piece I googled “Nigeria frauds.” There are hundreds of pages and some make for interesting reading. For example, some international businesses got sucked into an offshore bank scheme and lost $350 million; and a poor, lonely woman in England was cheated out of 1.6 million pounds by a false lover she met on a dating site. But on a more positive note, the officials at the Nigeria-Interbank Settlement System say there were 45.9 percent fewer attempts at fraud in 2015 as compared to 2014.

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and it is a country booming with new ideas, technologies and a wealth of natural resources. However, underneath it all there seems to be a culture of corruption and trickery, if you believe what you read in the newspapers. There was one last story I found that put it all in perspective for me. The article was in a newspaper called Leadership; Leadership bills itself as the most influential newspaper in Nigeria and I am willing to take it at face value. The article dealt with a former female bank employee who was involved in a convoluted scheme to swindle the wife of a governor.

The bank employee pleaded guilty, but said she was plagued by an attack of an evil spirit and is using a “The devil made me do it” defense. She has not gone to court yet, so we don’t know what her fate will be. But for me, the Nigerian narrative did not end there. I kept reading; the next line of text below the story contained the following: “Forget Small Manhood And Premature Ejaculation. See How I Solved My Problems After Losing My Girlfriend To Our Dry Cleaner.” Again, I don’t think Sun International is guilty of any crime and I don’t think that the CIA or any other government agency is trying to entrap me, but I am absolutely certain that some evil force in Nigeria is trying to trick me. How else would they know my girlfriend ran off with the dry cleaner?

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1 Response to “Immunity to the Nigerian Tricksters”


  1. 1 Bill Hanigan February 4, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Nigeria a healthy economy & Boko Haram and oil prices are mere dark clouds on the horizon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65% of the Nigerian population live below the poverty line and underneath this “healthy” economy corruption prevails and dominates. Suggest you update your reading on Nigeria, perhaps a few “Economist Reports”


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