Anansi’s Gold: The Man Who Swindled the World

Bloomsbury. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781635574739. $29.99. CRIME
British Ghanian journalist Yeebo tells the story of John Ackah Blay-Miezah, one of the world’s most prolific con artists, who tricked many people worldwide into giving him their money. His scheme started in the 1970s after the death of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who was falsely accused of hiding all the country’s gold overseas. The book shows that Blay-Miezah convinced people not only that Nkrumah had left a secret trust fund to help Ghanaian people but also that the Ghanaian president had entrusted him to disburse it. Blay-Miezah convinced investors to buy into the fake trust fund, worth an alleged $47 billion, by telling them that they too could have a portion of the funds but that giving money was the only way to access the money, stashed in the United Bank of Switzerland.
VERDICT This book, well-researched and engaging, draws readers into the intricate web of lies about a trust-fund tall tale that spanned throughout the 1970s and ’80s and across the globe. Readers who enjoy true crime and stories about cons will quickly be absorbed into Yeebo’s first book.
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