From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Sokoto State has arrested two investment Ponzi scheme operators who allegedly defrauded their victims to the tune of N3.5 billion.
The Commission Zonal Head, Bawa Usman Kaltungo disclosed this while briefing Journalists in Sokoto on Thursday.
He said the Commission received a complaint from United Bank of Africa, on an account in the name of Annexation Business Concept opened by one of the suspects, Sunday Markus.
Kaltungo noted that the new account had a turnover of over N3.5 billion within a period of six month, being cash deposits received from unsuspecting members of the public across the country.
“The EFCC zonal Office Sokoto received a complaint from UBA plc dated 28th October 2020, centred on an account in the name of Annexation Business Concept opened by one Sunday Markus.
“The Account had a turnover of Three billion, five hundred and fifty-five million, three hundred seventy-two thousand, six hundred and fifty-four naira, forty-three kobo (N3,525,372,654.43) within a period of six months.
“The suspects, purposely opened the Account with intend to defraud unsuspecting members of the public in the name of “investment”. Kaltungo explained.
He said the suspects had lured their victims with month-watering returns on investment “that is too good to be good”, by deceiving their victims and made them believe that the funds would be used to trade on Forex and Cryptocurrency.
“Upon investigation into the company’s activities, we discovered that the leading architect of the Ponzi scheme is one Benson Kufre John and Iraboh Eseosa.
“The duo procured one Sunday Markus to register the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission and opened the Bank Account using fictitious addresses and unregistered phone numbers.”
He noted that the scheme caused a surge in the numbers of victims that put in their hard-earned money after paying the first set of investors by “robbing Peter to pay Paul” which the suspects later diverted to their personal use.
He disclosed that the Commission has recovered property belonging to the suspects; include exotic cars, palatial houses and land properties in choice areas of Lagos, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Birnin Kebbi pending when the suspects will be charged.
The Zonal Head however advised members of the public to be wary of schemes promising a high and unrealistic Return on investment to investors.