‘I Go Chop Your Dollar’ star arrested

The Register is reporting that ‘Nigerian comedian and actor Nkem Owoh’ has been arrested in Amsterdam as a suspected 419 scammer:

Nigerian comedian and actor Nkem Owoh was one of the 111 suspected 419 scammers arrested in Amsterdam recently as part of a seven month investigation, dubbed Operation Apollo.

Owoh became a well known star within the Nigerian film industry, sometimes colloquially known as Nollywood because of its trite plots, poor dialogue, terrible sound, and low production standards.

Owoh starred in the 2003 film Osuofia, and a year later was one of several actors temporarily banned from appearing in movies by Nigeria’s Association of Movie Marketers and Producers because he demanded excessive fees and unreasonable contract demands.

Owoh became internationally known for his song “I Go Chop Your Dollar”, the anthem for 419 scammers (“Oyinbo man I go chop your dollar, I go take your money and disappear / 419 is just a game, you are the loser, I am the winner”, full lyrics here), which was banned in Nigeria after many complaints.

The song was the title track from the comedy, “The Master”, starring Owoh as a scheming 419er.

The alleged scammers are suspected of running a series of lottery-based (AKA 419-lite) scams.

Here’s the video for “I Go Chop Your Dollar”.

It’s not exactly cut and dried, though. This thread suggests that he wasn’t arrested for fraud; instead that the Dutch authorities detained pretty much everyone at his concert. This article suggests similar:

The Netherlands police were said to have stormed the venue of the show in a helicopter about 2a.m and arrested practically everybody at the venue. […]

“Over 200 of them (Nigerians) were arrested that night. It was a big haul; they came with helicopter and cars and circled the whole area. As I speak with you, over 70 of those apprehended that night have been deported for possession of expired or fake immigration papers.

“Osuofia was also whisked away but was released hours after,” the source said.

Update: It appears Osuofia was not arrested after all; lots more details here.

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  1. AKA Peter North
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 11:14 | Permalink

    WHAT AN IDIOT!!! This guy sounds like he must have made a lot of money from that music video, which he should have just invested for a living if he is too lazy to get a job. They all say that the victims were greedy but it turns out that HE was the greedy one.

  2. Bold Builder
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 15:17 | Permalink

    I hope people will see This song the way it is – a satire on the 419 scam; and in a way an expose on how the scammers think. Its a song that should help potential victims of 419. those who have heard and understood the song are less likely to fall victim of 419. Its just unfortunate some people took it it the wrong way. Go into the dictionary and check the meaning of the word “satire”