Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Public Complaint Commission urges EFCC to investigate ponzi schemes

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The Public Complaint Commission (PCC) on Wednesday called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the activities of ponzi scheme operators in the country.

The Commissioner of PCC in Rivers, Dr Alphaeus Paul-Worika, made the call in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

Paul-Worika was quoted as having made the request when he visited the EFCC Port Harcourt Zonal Commander, Aliyu Naibi on Tuesday.

According to him, the call became necessary due to the several complaints the PCC received from Nigerians, who were scammed by ponzi scheme operators in the country.

He said: “The issue of the ponzi scheme is a perennial problem in Nigeria and Rivers state in particular which EFCC should urgently save the situation.

“The EFCC should be more drastic in handling the operators as Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of fraudulent practices of ponzi scheme operators,” he said.

The commissioner said that the anti-graft agency has the capacity and manpower to tackle the menace head on as well as give justice to millions of Nigerians scammed by fraudsters.

“You can blame people for getting involved in the scheme but the truth is that many of the victims were deceived by the ponzi scheme operators.

“So, EFCC should help those getting involved by cracking down on the operators,” he appealed.

Paul-Worika sued for closer ties between the two Federal establishments and assured PCC’s continued reference of fraud-related cases to the anti-graft agency.

Responding, Naibi restated the commitment of the EFCC to finding practical solutions to tackling the menace of ponzi scheme operations in the country.

“The EFCC is taking the ponzi scheme very seriously, and as such, I can assure you that we are working frantically on it.

“Investigations are ongoing and the commission is always ahead in its operations,” he assured.

Our correspondent reports that one of such popular schemes, MBA Forex – which promised its investors 15 per cent Return on Investment monthly – had collected over N171 billion from its investors before crashing.

Another popular scheme, Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society headquartered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, owned by one Miebi Bribena, a pastor, was reported recently to have scammed about 40,000 investors of their capital running into billions.

Baraza promised its investors 25 per cent profits of their capital monthly but it crashed in March after a few months of operation.

The EFCC after receiving several petitions from victims of Baraza shut down its headquarters in September.

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