Who has smarter conmen, Kenya or Nigeria?

PHOTO/PATRICK VIDIJA/ THE STAR Who has smarter conmen, Kenya or Nigeria?

Conmen, a universal phenomenon. If there are people there are conmen, just ask Baracuda Airways CEO John Majiwa who was recently arrested for conning clients out of Sh200 million. But there seems to be some shameful one-upmanship going on between Nigeria and Kenya. One is known for its billionaires and oil money, the other is known for its fervent corruption and marathon runners. Who comes out on top though? Let’s look at the facts.

1. Nigerian scams are more elaborate

Naija prince scams have become a part of pop culture so much that they are continually referenced in American sitcoms. A prince or other rich person contacts you asking you for some financial assistance because they are stuck in a jam. They promise to send you a cut of the money once he/she gets extricated from their mess and ask for your bank details. Many of these email scams also tend to be written relatively well. In Kenya the trend tends to be someone offering a service or product that they don’t provide and run away with your money, that’s it.

2. Kenya ranks 145 while Nigeria ranks 136

It’s clear that both of these countries are not doing great on the Corruption Perceptions Index, but Kenya is actually viewed as more corrupt than Nigeria. Maybe because every few years some comprehensive corruption scandal comes to light and the amounts of government money being misappropriated is astounding. According to the BBC the Goldenberg scandal cost Kenya the equivalent of more than 10% of the country’s annual GDP; Orwa Ojode, who was serving as Assistant Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security confirmed to parliament that the commission had cost the Kenya Government Sh. 511,569,409.90 as recorded in the Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard).

READ ALSO: KDF warns of conmen as recruitment drive kicks off

3. Nigerian conmen flaunt their loot

Flavor Flav is seen onstage during the “Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav” in Burbank, Calif. on Sunday, July 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

There must be something in the water in Nigeria but they are a lively people so we should not expect anything less. Professional conman Frank Onyeachonam who got arrested a few years ago, scammed the elderly and retirees out of their money while he lived in the lap of luxury. Daily Mail reports that Onyeachonam spent the cash on Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Armani designer clothes, Rolex watches, Porches and Maseratis. He conned up to 400 people with an estimated cost of £30 million.

Frank Onyeachonam flossing with a bottle of champagne.

4. Both countries serve as important drug pit stops

Drugs go through everywhere but Kenya and Nigeria do have key routes within in their limits. Kenya’s proximity to the East and Nigeria’s to Europe and South America. Naturally this is nothing to be proud of but it is a fact. So in that way, we are winning in an extremely illicit activity.

READ ALSO: KEBS warns public of conmen masquerading as Bureau officials

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