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January 17, 2012

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No magic as conman sent to jail

A CONMAN who persuaded a woman to pay "customs fees" on cash he said was smuggled with the help of a magic potion was yesterday jailed for three years.

Nigerian Tijani Waheed Adeola, 41, was found guilty of duping 39-year-old Zhu Yi into giving him 100,000 yuan (US$15,834).

He was fined 30,000 yuan and will be deported after serving his sentence for fraud, the Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People's Court said yesterday

Zhu had an online relationship with a foreigner called "Arron." Last February, Arron told Zhu he had hired a diplomat to bring US$10 million into China and asked her to pay US$7,600 as "custom clearance fees" for the first batch.

On February 10, 2011, Zhu met Adeola and his accomplice, fellow Nigerian Mustapha Olajide Semiu, and paid US$7,600 for a package containing bundles of black paper. Adeola used "a special potion" to transform four pieces of black paper into US$100 bills.

The next day, Zhu paid another US$7,600 for more "money" and a 3,000 yuan delivery fee. But Adeola said the potion had gone "bad" and left.

He was detained on March 17 in the Pudong New Area.

Adeola pleaded guilty and admitted blackening four banknotes to make them look like black pieces of paper.

Semiu was deported from China last year. Arron is still at large.


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