A dramatic tale of double-dealing, stolen gems and shady characters.
Ernesto Bisogno was a colourful old pirate accustomed to sailing close to the wind. Opal-cutting, emerald-smuggling, uplifting silver bars from a sunken galleon in the Indian Ocean, recording American TV shows in his suite at the Waldorf Astoria and flogging them to Zimbabwe Television… this was Bisogno’s wheeler-dealing globe-spanning life, which he conducted with perennial charm and unfailing courtesy.
But in the last big deal of his life, over a parcel of opals valued at R7.6 million, Ernesto himself got scammed by a fast-talking 65-year-old from Centurion who claims to be a former agent of National Intelligence. For after Bisogno handed over the parcel of 4,200 carats to one Louis Johannes Steyn (ID:500319 5079 081), payment was never made and the opals vanished into thin air.