Dlamini thought he was going to the Bahamas to receive a medal for his work for human rights, but earlier today (1 October 2010) it was revealed by the Associated Press that the World Citizens Award organisation that was presenting the medal was no more than a website and a post office box.
Now the Bahamas News reveals the sordid details about the man behind the scam.
Rudy ‘Rip-Off’ King in New Scam
1 October 2010
Bahamian con artist Rudy King, supported by corrupt Bahamian officials, is back in action with a new scam honouring an African dictator with a “humanitarian” award.
The Prime Minister of the kingdom of Swaziland is set to receive a fake award from one of the Caribbean’s biggest con artists, Bahamian Rudy King.
Rudy is working a con with a perverted egomaniac dictator from Swaziland that will have the African dictator receiving an award for “contributions to humankind” on Saturday.
The decision to recognize Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini with a “World Citizen Award” has prompted outrage from human rights groups who have criticized the poor records on human rights and resistance to democratic reform in sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy/dictatorship.
The Swazi prime minister, who recently gained attention for comments in the Swazi media that anti-government protesters should be tortured, already has flown to the Bahamas to pick up the award, his office said.
There is no legitimacy to the award and it is believed that the African dictator paid con man Rudy King to set up the scam in an attempt to burnish his stained image.
Amnesty International said earlier this month that “political activists, human rights defenders and trade unionists have been harassed, threatened, ill-treated and detained by the Swaziland police over the past year under draconian anti-terrorism legislation.”
To make his scam appear legit, Rudy stole and published a list of trustees from a respected peace group, pretending that the trustees were involved in his phony award. The names were used without permission.
A lawyer for the World Peace Foundation, has publicly stated that the trustees list on Rudy’s World Citizen Award web site was stolen without authorizaton from the web site of the World Peace Foundation, a well-respected NGO in the U.S. Neither the World Peace Foundation nor its Board members are connected with Rudy King’s phony ‘World Citizen Award.’
Rudy also claims that the World Citizen Award medal was designed in 2007 by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, assisted by the Swedish engraver Erik Lindberg. The problem is: Vigeland, who designed the Nobel Peace medal, died in 1943. Lindberg, who designed the Nobel physics, chemistry, medicine and literature medals, died in 1966.
The Internet domain name for the World Citizen Award website is registered to Rudolph Laroda, an alias for Rudy King.
When the Associated Press tried to contact rip-off Rudy, a man identifying himself as Laroda’s spokesman declined to answer questions. A few hours later the stolen list of trustees had disappeared from the website.
Rudolph King, who also uses the aliases Rudy King-Laroda and Kermit Rudolph Casito Laroda, has been scamming and conning his way across the Caribbean for decades.
King was accused in 2002 of stealing over $400,000 from American Express. American Express was awarded a judgment against King but corrupt Bahamian lawyers and judges skewed the case and King was never held accountable.
Later, King was accused of attempting to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of $2.7 million by filing a false claim. He went to court in California and had to surrender his passport as a condition of his $10,000 bail. King was also restricted from leaving the state of California.
He jumped bail and returned to The Bahamas where, again, corrupt Bahamian government officials put him back in business.
A report of a 2006 press conference he held at a Bermuda hotel quoted him as announcing that retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Hollywood stars Halle Berry and Will Smith would be among luminaries coming to Bermuda for a “Global Vision Awards of Excellence” event.
Tourism officials and spokesmen for the celebrities involved denied any involvement, and the event was never held.
Commercial crime cops in the Bahamas arrested King in December, 2009, after he was fined $500 for deceiving three public officers in connection with a “lost” passport.
A U.S. district judge has issued a no-bail arrest warrant for King in connection with the IRS case. An IRS agent testified at the trial before allegedly corrupt Bahamian magistrate Linda Virgill and produced the missing passport. This, despite King telling two Bahamian police officers and a passport office employee that he did not know the location of his passport.
It is remarkable, and really says a lot about the level of corruption in the Bahamas, when a con man as infamous as Rudy can continue to ply his trade while police, judges and government officials stand by doing nothing.