On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, the fast-growing Nigerian ponzi scheme MMM Nigeria freezed the account of all its members. This move has sparked up fears that the scheme has crashed.
According to report, the ponzi scheme placed a one-month ban on all withdrawals starting from December 13 due to ‘heavy workload on system’.
A letter displayed on the page of members explained that this move means that members who are due to withdraw both their capital and 30 percent return-on-investment will no longer be able to do so until sometime in January 2017.
The letter said the ban on withdrawals was also partly due to the negative reports and attention by mass media and the government respectively.
Given the history of the ponzi scheme, analysts warn that it may have crashed. They argue that the one-month freeze announced was similar to what happened in South Africa before the scheme finally crashed in the country.
Members of the ponzi scheme who turned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) for help have been mocked for shunning the warnings of the government, according to report.
Many MMM Nigeria members have taken to social media to express their thoughts and feelings about the issue. MMM trended on Twitter and Facebook all through Tuesday.
A member who pleaded anonymity has expressed doubt that the group would resume activities again. He explained that he had earlier warned those he introduced to the scheme to avoid participating in December and January.
CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the secret group and their members have shown defiance to warnings and they stand the chance of losing big time.
An investment banker who pleaded anonymity said that the proliferation and acceptance of illegal schemes by huge numbers in the country is not portraying the country in good light. He said, it is also an indication of the level of enlightenment, ethical practice and particularly the dominating character of greed in the larger society.
About 2.4 million people in the country had signed up to the ponzi scheme in late 2016, with the country’s unemployed as primary targets, according to record.