Fond memories of a charming rogue

Fond memories of a charming rogue

Loyal son protests his father’s innocence.  By Jack Lundin

Kenneth Bisogno, 50-something  son of the late adventurer and gems dealer Ernesto Bisogno, whose swashbuckling escapades in the opal business were recounted in nose195, is indignant at our description of his father as an “emerald smuggler”. Prove it, challenges Kenneth from his glass house, adding pompously that, alternatively, he reserves his rights.

Ernesto, who died in November aged 85, took delight in entertaining friends with stories of his often less-than-legal high jinks. And Kenneth’s own recent activities in the Seychelles reveal the son to be a true chip off the old block.

Bisogno Jnr suspects that Noseweek reached the smuggler conclusion because of a 1970s scam known as the Zambian Emerald Fiasco. We hadn’t been aware of that one, but according to a swift précis from Kenneth, it went like this: “He [Ernesto] was taken off an international Lufthansa flight en route to Frankfurt (transit at Lusaka) and jailed for 28 days under a Presidential Detention Order signed by Kenneth Kaunda himself.”

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