Full Transcript of Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation’s London-based former Chief Executive Officer, Anne Welsh, plotting a $4.9m (N980m) scheme to exploit the Ebola Virus Disease tragedy in West Africa through helping a group of ‘Lebanese businessmen’ who wished to donate money to the Obasanjo Foundation for some work in Sierra Leone.
Speaker: Ok, now I have the Lebanese community in Africa and in this country for instance Sierra Leone we have the Lebanese community, the Congo they have it, in Guinea they have it, everywhere they have it. So what I do is this, I tell them we need contribution and we want to help out with their contribution.
Anne Welsh: okay hmm
Speaker: Now what we need is this, we need to transfer these funds to a charitable organization.
Anne Welsh: If you have your own, why don’t you just transfer it there?
Speaker: This charity organization receives a 50% of the total amount…
Anne Welsh: Can come in?
Speaker: They will only keep 50% of that.
2nd Speaker: Can we speak frankly? (Not clear) The money has to leave the account today
Anne Welsh: And it has to go an hour before? Okay let me ask you this question. The first initial amount has to go straight to charity? The whole thing? The whole lump sum?
2nd Speaker: No no look.
Anne Welsh: Can’t it go to another account and then the charity account because I’m worried about charity commission.
2nd Speaker: I don’t care how it goes and comes, just when it comes we get to take out the commissions.
Anne Welsh: and we have to say the certain amount?
2nd Speaker: No? They don’t know
Anne Welsh: Okay, I wanted to be sure, that would help me.
2nd Speaker: The actual figure at the moment is, 4.9 Million
Anne Welsh: 4.9 Million is the money we are supposed to give to charity…
2nd Speaker: No
Anne Welsh: I know I know half of that, I’m just starting, lets start with 2 Million.
2nd Speaker: Okay..
Anne Welsh: Normally, sometimes we get dollars from people who give money to our foundation and they say they don’t want it to be known that they donated the money but they want to have a letter on like our letter headed paper and a letter from Obasanjo stating just to say ‘Thank you for your kind donations to the foundation for the work to support Ebola’. That’s it. That is what we normally do.
2nd Speaker: Okay lets put it this way, the money that you are going to donate to the charity we have to know that at least some went to Sierra Leone. Some to Sierra Leone,
Anne Welsh: Liberia?
2nd Speaker: Liberia we don’t mind.
Anne Welsh: You can give them even a little.
2nd Speaker: I don’t mind, as long as it’s solving Ebola, because majority of the contributions came from the Lebanese community in West Africa, Including Liberia.
Anne Welsh: Okay.
2nd Speaker: okay, so the work here for the moment is Sierra Leone and Liberia, I would like to see that we are making efforts over there, and the money they contributed is actually showing so they can see they are doing something.
Anne Welsh: I don’t have a computer but I would have showed you how we work as a foundation, how we work on ground, I don’t know if you have internet (turns to face the girl beside her) she would have shown you.
2nd Speaker: Honestly, I’m going to send you all the money, I don’t care what account you give me, okay?
Anne Welsh: (Nods head)
2nd Speaker: So how are you going to do it?
Anne Welsh: How we are going to do it is that, I’ll take 50% for the process, 50% to the foundation in the UK, and then we would go to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Would you want me to…work, (pauses) because since our foundation is very presidential we work at the highest level. President Sirleaf Johnson for example has various organizations, for example I just met with the Ambassador here, and you can listen to my interview with the Ambassador and one of the things the Ambassador said to me was that, he gets too many offers. So it depends if your community says they want to focus on the orphans then I will write a report and I will take pictures.
2nd Speaker: I don’t mind
Anne Welsh: We keep accurate records and show you where the money has been spent. And you’ll see that particular one has been spent accurately. We put up a budget, for instance if we buy hospital equipment’s you’ll see.
2nd Speaker: That’s your side, do you understand? I don’t have a lot of time to know if you spent on this or you spent on this, that’s for your charity to handle, I’m going to speak frankly. I don’t give a shit.
Anne Welsh: Okay speak frankly we are not kids.
2nd Speaker: As far as I’m concerned the money is going to go towards Ebola, the other 2.9 for now I know I’ve spoken to (unclear), and I’m going to speak to him again, there’s a lot of things yet to clear.
Other woman: Oh wow! You guys talk well.
2nd Speaker: Lets call the final number 2.9, now what are we going to do with the rest.
Anne Welsh: Yes, so what should we do with that?
2nd Speaker: Frankly? Frankly?
Anne Welsh: Yes lets speak frankly.
2nd Speaker: We want to get our share, but how much do we give you?
1st Speaker: She has an amazing smile.
Anne Welsh: Yes I do, thanks so much.
2nd Speaker: So how do you think I should do?
Anne Welsh: It’s up to you
2nd Speaker: What do you think is fair?
Anne Welsh: it’s up to you
2nd Speaker: Lets talk percentage wise.
1st Speaker: You have a beautiful smile, so tell me how you think I should do.
Anne Welsh: It’s up to you
2nd Speaker: Okay out of the 2.9 how does 15% sound?
Anne Welsh: Gosh I don’t know
2nd Speaker: Please be honest
Anne Welsh: It’s all blurry to me, I don’t know.
1st Speaker: With the things you do and you’re very assertive you should be able to think on your feet.
Anne Welsh: I know, well I think it should be a good number. At least 30%, think about the hard work I’m going to put into this, you will be so grateful to me.
1st Speaker: Your name is Anne right?
Anne Welsh: Yes, Anne Welsh. You’ve googled me to find out more about me?
2nd Speaker: Yes, I know everything that you’ve done since you started out with the Obasanjo foundation and before.
1st Speaker: And 30% is too much
2nd Speaker: You know why?
1st Speaker: how do we go about doing it?
2nd Speaker: Yes I was thinking about how we are going to go about transferring the funds.
Other Woman: basically what you want though is for her to take control of the organization
2nd Speaker: Basically what I want from her is, I’m going to give her lets say 4.9 Million, yeah? 2 million I want to go to charity and I want the letter saying thank you to the Lebanese community. 30% of 2.9 is 900,000.00, that’s your cut to start..
Anne Welsh: but I’m telling him he would be… I’m telling him, I don’t know how he found me,
2nd Speaker: Anne Anne Anne.. Pocket change. Lets start with this now.
Anne Welsh: Where’s the money now?
2nd Speaker: it’s in Sierra Leone; it’s in a commercial bank we use now.
Anne Welsh: How will you transfer it?
2nd Speaker: Don’t worry about it, we will do the transfer, It’ll take 24 or 48 hours to show in your account, because we transfer money all the time.
Anne Welsh: yes I understand with his job he probably know.
2nd Speaker: So tell me, how are we going to come back to collect ours? Explain it to me.
Anne Welsh: Okay, so you have to send it to the account in Nigeria, GT Bank, because if it comes to this account here, I can’t transfer it to anyone, if it comes to a charity account in the UK I can’t transfer it out. I can also pay you from a UK account.
1st Speaker: I need you to work it out with him, we have 4.9 we need 2million to go to charity, he has accepted to give you 30% I think that is too much
Anne Welsh: No it won’t work any other way trust me
1st Speaker: Okay, now I need to know how we would get the other part.
Anne Welsh: That’s what I was saying, Immediately it hits my account it gets to you right away. And I need the account details you want me to transfer it to. Is it a Geneva account?
2nd Speaker: We will give you the details of the account you’ll send it back to us. Anne? This is sure guaranty yeah?
Anne Welsh: Yes
2nd Speaker: What we are trying to say is, we are going to send this money, everything to your account in Nigeria, and you are going to transfer the 2 million to the charity.
Anne Welsh: yes, and that’s why I’m in Nigeria on the 26th so that I can seat at the bank while I do the transfer back to your account, it’s a good coincidence because in Nigeria I don’t trust the bank I will rather be there. And I’m also going to find out from the bank if they do bulk transfers because I hate it in bits and pieces, London might be able to do bulk transfers.
2nd Speaker: To transfer that kind of money in London they ask too much questions.
Anne Welsh: I know, Nigeria is always better.
2nd Speaker: But which do you think is better for us?
Anne Welsh: I will speak to both managers.
2nd Speaker: You are sure this going to work?
1st Speaker: What bank do you use in London?
Anne Welsh: Barclays
2nd Speaker: You work it out, I’m going to make sure everything comes to you, You going to get your 30%.
1st Speaker: If we can negotiate that 30%, its too much.
2nd Speaker: Forget that, It’s not.
Anne Welsh: I know you are a businessman but I’m also.
2nd Speaker: this is just a taste of what you’ll be getting. So we are going to transfer the full amount to your account in Nigeria, so how are you going to do it? You going to transfer 2 million to the charity account here?
Anne Welsh: Yes, so they can see a donation came in and I’ll write that the money should be used for Ebola.
2nd Speaker: And then the balance?
Anne Welsh: Yes, so I’ll take my fee and transfer the rest to whatever account you want me to. And if you want me to put it in writing I’m happy to do that, or you want me to sign something. I’m going to send you a letter, but the only thing we need to be careful of is email trace.
2nd Speaker: yes forget that email for now. Why don’t we meet to discuss, because I like to be very careful. And I can see how careful you are also
Anne Welsh: I had to go through training, through president Obasanjo, Political training for one year to become discreet.
2nd Speaker: Okay so I’m going to transfer the funds when I get the details, or you give me the details.
Anne Welsh: Will you be around tomorrow morning?
2nd Speaker: Not tomorrow morning, but I might go and come back, we can meet tomorrow night and I can get the details off you. I have your personal number and you have mine. Nothing can be done till Monday so you will get the money by Wednesday and then you send 2 to charity take your cut and send the rest to us. I’m sure more than 4.9 would be transferred and that would be the first transfer. You hear me? The first transfer.
1st Speaker: You’ve done this before right?
Anne Welsh: Yes I’ve done this before, I have even done it from the Nigerian end and London end. I just want to make sure that whoever’s account I send it to is able to receive bulk transfers.
2nd Speaker: We have a good reputation
Anne Welsh: I have a very good reputation too and I have to protect that.
2nd Speaker: But we have to make money.
Anne Welsh: Yes we do
2nd Speaker: We have families to feed mortgages to pay.
Anne Welsh: Yes yes, I can’t make any type of reputation when I’m broke.
2nd Speaker: Okay we have that sorted, whatever we do you percentage will always be 30%.
Anne Welsh: Thank you, and you have nothing to worry about. I have done it before like I said, you are not the first and you will not be the last.
2nd Speaker: Good to know; now we can focus on other things because we trust you. Mrs. Welsh, lovely to meet you.
1st Speaker: There’s an Anne Welsh School in Cape Town
Anne Welsh: I have to go see this school, and tell everyone, “hey I’m Anne Welsh” When you are dealing with Africans you have to be sensitive
2nd Speaker: So you have contacts
Anne Welsh: Oh yes, I know I have contacts for life, My life started out slow and it picked up, and I’m going to pray to God it stays high, just look at it, I just met you guys. I’m a firm believer that the people that are good around me will always be around me. One question I was get, “How do you work with president Obasanjo” because if you read about him you will see that he fought the war in Nigeria, he’s the guy all other leaders call up on for help, him and I are always travelling, last time we were in Ghana and this guy had a problem we had to help get money from Goodluck because he did not have enough money. We did so much secret things. Then Obasanjo said to me that the reason he’s doing all these things in front of me and with me is because he trusts me. First time I met him was in Brussels, he was giving a key note address, and he said to me. Come to Africa, and I was like “I’ve not been to that country since I left” and he said to me ‘Just come’ I’ll get my wife to look after you. I wasn’t sure but something in my mind said it was alright, I asked my mum I did my research just like how you did your research on me, I did my research on him. So I said to myself, ‘Ann you’ve lived in Nigeria, the worst that could happen is you dying’.