Uche Usim, Abuja and Chinwendu Obienyi
To make good its promise to rid Nigeria of illegal capital market activities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, sealed off the premises of Dantata Success and Profitable Company, Kano, for carrying out investment operations that fall within fund management without registration with the apex regulator.
According to SEC, such operations can only be permitted after having fulfilled stipulated conditions designed by the government.
The Commission said: “They do not have registration with the SEC and the Commission has powers according to Section 13 of ISA 2007, to shut down any company carrying out capital market activities without due registration.
“Nigerian laws provides that business activities in the country has to be regulated, in this case SEC is supposed to regulate them.
“The strategy of the company is to solicit for funds from unsuspecting members of the public by enticing them with returns of monthly interest on investment of between 25 percent and 50 percent depending on the nature and investment type”, the Commission explained.
SEC added that it has sufficiently established that the company’s activities also constituted an infraction of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007.
It added that the ponzi scheme company also indicated a registration period of February 5 – 15 in one of its numerous notices that directed all prospective customers to make deposits into its bank accounts.
SEC added: “The company sells its forms to prospective investors according to their investment plans ranging from N1,000 to N3,000. The minimum amount investable is N50,000, while the maximum is N5,000,000
“The investment period of the scheme is pegged at a minimum of 30 working days to a maximum period of 12 months with offer of interest rates on short and medium term basis.
“It claims to be involved in trading, general merchandise supply, oil and gas, transportation, import, export and general contract. The SEC management said the closure was to end the unlawful activities of the company against unsuspecting investors, even as it urged investors to ensure they only deal with fund managers registered with the Commission.“The account of the company have been frozen, the promoters have been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force and are undergoing interrogation.
“The Commission wishes to notify the investing public that the company is not licensed to carry out investments business of any type and as such its operations are illegal.
“SEC therefore advises the public to exercise due diligence and caution in the course of making investment decisions, adding that valid licence of lawful operators could be obtained on the Commission’s website by members of the public to confirm the status of firms with which they intend to carry out investment activities”, the statement noted.