From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi.
Just while Nigerians were still grappling with the shock of the crashed Ponzi scheme, MMM, operators of another of such scheme which surfaced in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, have been nabbed by the Benue State Police Command.
Commissioner Police Bashir Makama told newsmen that the scheme known as Global Funds International started operation in Makurdi last week and within two days, had defrauded over 700 gullible Nigerians before they were apprehended by the police.
Makama disclosed that the modus operandi of these fraudsters was money doubling as they asked their victims to deposit any amount they had and wait to receive double the amount the next day.
He maintained that to further deceive Nigerians, these fraudsters operated from one of the halls of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Makurdi adding that the Catchiest of the church who was not comfortable with the development quickly informed the police about it.
He explained further that available records showed that these money doublers had collected N4.5 million from 613 Benue people within two days of their operation in the state while only N2.1 million was recovered from them at the point of arrest.
Some of the victims who spoke with our correspondent including Mr. Samuel Shiika, Felicia Ahula, Donatus Gbankan, Mnlumun Bagu and Egere Odinckukwu (a Corps member) said they deposited monies ranging from N4,000 to N50,000 and were expecting to receive double of their deposits the next day only to discover that the operators had been arrested by the police.
Asked why they had to put their monies into such scheme especially with the news about MMM, the victims who besieged the state police headquarters on Monday said it was the economic downturn in the country that pushed them into the game.
But speaking with our correspondent at the state police headquarters where they are being held, leader of the suspected fraudsters who gave his name as Dr. Philemon Ibrahim Gora agreed that he was doubling money as a way of empowering the people but insisted that he was not a fraudster but was doing so to help Nigerians.
Gora who was arrested alongside two others including Kenneth Atuaka and Shimave Tivkaa claimed to be a software Engineer adding that he started a similar scheme in 2013 but was rounded up by the EFCC and the police then.
He said as a result of this, his money running into billions of Naria was tied down in a Diamond Bank while over 60 thousand Nigerians could not collect their money, a development which made him to personally sue the EFCC.