This chapter traces the emergence of Nigerian organized crime. Indirect Rule, as it was dubbed by Lady Lugard, was easiest to implement in northern Nigeria, which had been governed prior to the imposition of British rule by Islamic authorities running a bureaucratic apparatus that exercised control over large areas. Even before the explosion of embezzlement and corruption that accompanied the processes of development, self-government and independence, there were certain types of crime that, in retrospect, deserve particular attention. One of these was slavery. From the outset, foreign companies played an important role in the new relationships governing Nigeria’s insertion in a world of sovereign states. In 1974, at the height of the oil boom that had such a decisive effect on Nigeria’s history, the British high commissioner reported to London, ‘it is no longer correct to speak of the problem of corruption in Nigeria. This is a corrupt society’.