Before internet fraud gained popularity in the country, there was one man who undoubtedly made waves after he duped a Brazilian as far back as 1995.
Popularly known as “419”, a former Director of Union Bank, Emmanuel Nwude, pulled one of the biggest internet scam in history -behind biggest scams in history after the Nick Leeson’s trading losses at Barings Bank, and the looting of the Iraqi Central Bank by Qusay Hussein.
Nwude was reported to have sold a non-existent airport to Nelson Sakaguchi who was the director of a bank for $242 million between 1995 and 1998.
As one of the privileged individuals in the banking sector, Nwude had some information and was able to forge the signature of the then Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Paul Ogwuma.
He then informed Sakaguchi informing him of a mouth-watering deal of Nigeria’s plan to build an airport in Abuja.
Nwude, pretending to be the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, told Sakaguchi that he would of go home with $10 million as commission when the deal is done.
Sakaguchi then paid $191 million in cash and the rest in form of outstanding interest.