Nigeria nabs Swissgolden Ponzi scheme promoters, recovers N216 million

Nigeria nabs Swissgolden Ponzi scheme promoters, recovers N216 million

It might be an end of the road for three Swissgolden promoters as Nigeria’s anti-graft police has just arrested and detained for alleged fraud.

Swissgolden is a Ponzi scheme that claims to allow their customers invest and buy gold bars. PageOne.ng has done an extensive review on the programme and found out it was not a genuine multi-level marketing programme.

According to media reports, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has recovered a total of N216,402,565.05 (Two Hundred and Sixteen Million, Four Hundred and Two Thousand, Five Hundred Sixty Naira, Five Kobo) only from Swiss Golden Investment, an online investment that purportedly deals in buying and selling of Gold Bars.

The recovery was sequel to a petition the Commission received from thousands of complainants who alleged that they invested in Swiss Golden Investment which was advertised as an online investment that deals with buying and selling of Gold Bars.

The petitioner further alleged that after investing over a billion naira into the business, the company refused to pay them any dividend or pay them back their capital. Upon receipt of the petition, the Commission invited the petitioners and they volunteered statements.

Through intelligence, the Commission picked up one Maxim Lobaty, a Russian and two Nigerians: Austin Emenike and Dickson Nonso Onuchukwu in Lagos.

The trio were subsequently conveyed to the Kano operational zone of the EFCC for further investigation. Swiss Golden which is headquartered in Hong Kong was discovered through investigation to be a Ponzi scheme that was designed to defraud innocent victims of their hard earned money.

After being drilled at the Commission’s Kano Zonal Office, Maxim and his co-suspects consented to the refund of the investment. Subsequently, a total sum of N216, 402,565.05 (Two Hundred and Sixteen Million, Four Hundred and Two Thousand, Five Hundred Sixty Five Naira) only have now been recovered.

However, while the investigation was on going, it was discovered that, Swiss Golden Company Limited has defrauded over seven thousand Nigerians to the tune of over N3,000,000,000 (Three Billion Naira) only.

Investigation into the alleged fraud is still ongoing and all efforts are being made to recover the money involved and the alleged suspects be brought to justice.

It is not clear if the recovered sum was merely a fraction of the total investor funds in the scheme. Swissgolden like every other franchise Ponzi scheme usually have cells across country which might end up being a decentralised system.