The Bank of Ghana, the country’s central bank has issued a fraud alert on MMM Ghana.
MMM Ghana is owned by MMM Global affiliate. This is the same group of people who ran MMM Nigeria, Ponzi scheme that wrecked many Nigerian investors before it collapsed in December 2016.
Bank of Ghana through its spokesperson, Caroline Otoo, said:
It has come to the notice of the Management of the Bank of Ghana that anEntity named MMM Ghana apart from operating a virtual office is moving from place to place and mobilizing deposits from the general public.
The Bank of Ghana wishes to inform the general public that MMM Ghana is NOT LICENSED by the Bank of Ghana to engage in any form of deposit – taking activity. Hence, anyone who does business with MMM Ghana does so at his or her own risk.
It was not stated in the statement that the Bank of Ghana will shut down the scheme and or accounts of its promoters as in the case of South Africa where bank accounts of MMM South Africa affiliates and investors were frozen in Capitec Bank and other lenders.
There is no basis to think the Bank of Ghana will take up regulatory actions either. In Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission basically issued a decisive fraud alert on MMM Nigeria warning investors and the general public to stay way from MMM Nigeria.
Is this another Deja Vu?
As in the case of Nigeria, owners of the scheme came out to deny that they were into investment and or financial services activities. The scheme was majorly headed by one Chuddy Anayo Ugorji and Ernest Mbanefo, a South African-based Nigerian who also claimed to be a Christian cleric.
Things went south on towards the end of December 2016 when the scheme suddenly announce a temporary freeze of withdrawals. The planned comeback on the 14th of January, 2017 led to a major rally from frustrated investors who had lost billions of Naira (NGN) to the scheme.
Based on analysts estimates, at least NGN15 billion was lost to MMM Nigeria owners. However, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation said the scheme created a financial loss of about NGN80 billion to its victims. At the tail end of February, MMM finally shocked its members that all invested funds in 2016 can no longer be withdrawn from the system. In short, investors were asked to invest fresh funds to get the jumbo returns.
While Chuddy Anayo Ugorji was said to have fled Nigeria for the Philippines, Ernest Mbenefo has remained quiet since then. Since the collapse of the scheme in Nigeria, close to 1,000 other Ponzi schemes have been floated by formr affiliates of the scheme, investors, and other fraudsters. Click here to see some of the major schemes, many of whom have collapsed.
As for Ghanaian investors who are getting involved or are already in the scheme, the guarantee of a collapse might be debated.
A major sign for Nigerian investors in MMM was the collapse of the scheme in Zimbabwe. many civil servants, artisans and even the underemployed lost their life savings to MMM Zimbabwe after it froze accounts of investors. The scheme later returns announcing it has slashed all their investment by 80%.
This might a likely scenario that would play out in Ghana. According to BehindMLM, there are about 10,000 investors who have joined the scheme since it starts operations. The latest announcement by the Bank of Ghana is bound to affect the recruitment flow which might end up quickening the collapse of the scheme.
for the records, MMM Ghana floated operations after its collapse in Nigeria, there is no information as to who are the major promoters of the scheme in the country.
MMM Global, the parent organization of all MMM affiliates was founded in 1194 by a convicted Russian called Sergey Mavrodi. His whereabout is not known to the public since the collapse of MMM China in 2016.