The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is set to arrest four Ponzi scheme operators across Nigeria within the next few weeks.
This was disclosed by a source in the anti-graft agency, who preferred anonymity. The source could not mention the names of the operators and their companies for security reasons.
According to the source, the affected companies are among the ones some financial experts have been warning ignorant investors to stay clear from via social media platforms, especially Twitter.
He said, “We are coming for the operators in a matter of few weeks and most of them operate largely in Lagos but reside outside the commercial hub of the nation. They believe they are smart but the Eagle is watching and they will be charged to court in a matter of days.
“These fraudsters have reaped several Nigerians off their hard-earned money while others have lost their lives due to the shock they got when they realised they have been swindled. We have also observed that a lot of the Ponzi schemes thrive, especially during a recession or economic hardship, but we will also choke them as they are only out to entice Nigerians with some fixed returns only to disappear in a few months or years.”
Rising cases of Ponzi schemes
Nigerians have recently been exposed to rising cases of Ponzi schemes, which are often pervasive during periods of the economic crunch.
On March 8, 2022, EFCC had secured the conviction and sentencing of a notorious Ponzi scheme operator, Umanah Umanah before Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Umana’s nightmare started in 2020 when he was arrested by operatives of the EFCC following a petition by one of his victims, who alleged that Umanah swindled him of over N2.9million and subsequently issued him an N500, 000. 00 cheque, which was dishonoured by the bank because the account was not funded.
During the investigation, the Commission discovered that the defendant lured his victims through bogus promises of return on investment of up to 50% in seven days through his company, No Burn Global Limited, with a network in several states of the federation.
He was subsequently arraigned on Friday, October 16, 2020, on a two-count charge bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, forgery and uttering; offences which contravened the provisions of Section 1 (2) (C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act. He pleaded “not guilty” upon arraignment, setting the stage for his full trial.
Also in Lagos, the anti-graft agency had arrested a couple for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting victims in an N935million Ponzi scheme.
The suspects, Emmanuel and Victoria Jaiyeoba, who were arrested at their residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, are parents to Adewale Daniel, Marketing Director, Wales Kingdom Capital Limited.
The suspects, in complicity with their son, who is still at large, operate a Ponzi scheme in the guise of forex trading to defraud their unsuspecting victims.
Investigation revealed that Emmanuel, who is a Director in Wales Kingdom Capital, operates five bank accounts and had received a sum of N18, 397, 913. 67 before his arrest.
Further investigation also showed that the second suspect, Victoria, operates six bank accounts through which she received fraudulent transactions to the tune of N916, 607, and 715. 48.