Saturday, April 26, 2008


A few weeks back1 I mentioned the "black cash" scam. A local woman had been suckered out of some high dollar amount by a man claiming to have inked over a suitcase full of money in an effort to sneak it into the country past customs agents. What he really had, of course, were cleverly cut pieces of black paper--plus a couple of c-notes up his sleeve for the big moment when he pretended to use special magic potions to de-ink innocent paper back into real money. Voila. As usual in a con like this, he needed an advance of some thousands of dollars to purchase more of the chemical necessary to wash the rest. "Look," he says, "you can hang onto this whole suitcase if you don't trust me." The loan was to be paid-off (with interest) from the suitcase after his savings had been reconstituted. In reality, the con artist would be on a plane home by the time the sucker finally came over wise. But not this time.2 Back on April seventh, a similar con was run against one Trần Tuấn Vũ by a Nigerian man calling himself Adam. Mr. Vu contacted police when he was supposed to be gathering sixty thousand dollars for Adam's chemicals. Adam was arrested later that afternoon. Last night, just after my haircut, I met Sunshine for an evening jazz retrospective at the tony Sax-N-Art club on Lê Lợi Street across from Saigon Center. The show was a joint venture between the club owner, Trần Mạnh Tuấn, the Overseas Vietnamese Students Society and the US Consulate General. The Deputy Principal Officer of the latter gave a casual presentation covering the historical bullets, the martinis were probably the best in town, and I had hair trimmings itching my whole body. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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