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Nigeria and ISS
(credit: artist illustration by Tim Warchocki)

My dear friend

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My Dear Friend,


I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the International Space Station in 2009. He was stranded there in 2011 when the American Space Shuttle was retired. He was supposed to return to earth on the American Space Shuttle Mission STS-135 with his other American crew members, but his place was instead taken up by return cargo. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.

In the year since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight and hazard pay and interest amounting to almost $15,000,000 U.S. American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $3,000,000 U.S. American Dollars. In order to access this trust fund we need your assistance.

Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount in U.S. American dollars to your account for subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/or operating foreign accounts in our names.

Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.

Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter. My family and my country desperately want Major Tunde to come home to us! He is a national hero! Please, can you help us in our desperate times?!

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-2220 only.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager