Michael Eke, a Swissgolden top affiliate based in Calabar, a South-south port city of Nigeria is to be tried for an alleged $49 million ponzi scam that went south.
This is approximately 18 billion naira using real-time forex rate. Should this be the real amount lost to the scam, it could be the second largest Ponzi scheme to have collapsed after MMM Nigeria collapsed that saw many investors turned victims who lost more than 50 billion naira according to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC.
Trouble started for when many Swissgolden investors could not get their return on investment, ROI. The scheme could not also return the principal amounts invested.
As at when Swissgolden was launched to hoodwink unsuspecting investors, PageOne.ng Black Market unit did a thorough review.
Promoters of Swissgolden claimed investors do not need beyond NGN27000 (Twenty-seven thousand naira only) to start. They claimed it is a zero percent risk investment.
According to information available on swissgolden’s website, it is intended for purchase and sale of an investment gold in bars.
Gold bars are bought and sold in the Internet – shop in any quantity and any values from 1 to 100 grams.
Bars delivery is carried out by the insured mail or they can be received by prior arrangement in the delivery department in GB , as well as they can be left for safekeeping in the certified depository of precious metals. GB , as well as they can be left for safekeeping in the certified depository of precious metals.
Delivery cost is defined by the postal service. Сost of delivery amounts to 55 euro.
The gold storage cost is 0.1 % per month of the value of the gold stockpiled in depository on the first day of every month.
In case of Buyer’s payment for the Order and Company’s services is through bank transfer, the Swissgolden company will send an invoice to the Buyer. An invoice will be sent to the Buyer’s e-mail stated at the registration. The cost of purchase will be fixed for 24 hours.
As the gold market price may change several times a day, a Buyer must make a bank transfer and send a copy of payment by e-mail to the delivery department within 24 hours.
If confirmation of a payment for the Order is not received within 24 hours, the Order will be canceled.
However, many Swissgolden promoters invite investors to donate in the Swissgolden’s matrix system which they say is dynamic and not static, unlike other Ponzi schemes.
It appears Michael Eke was one of the largest affiliates for Swissgolden because Nigeria’s anti-corruption police, EFCC, alleged that close to N27 billion which he claimed that it was about 5 billion naira.
Speaking directly to Vanguard Newspaper, he defended himself that:
“I sincerely sympathize with all those who have fallen ill because they could not take the news of the crash, but I can assure subscribers that I will refund all their money and the impression that our wage bill is in the tune of N27 billion is false. From what we have worked out, the money will be in the range of N18 billion and when the forensic auditing is complete, I do not think we will have up to N5billion to refund.”
Many investors who allgedlu lost fortunes to Swissgolden and Michael Eke recouinted their ordeal to Vanguard Newspaper that:
Mr. Theophilus Ikpi, told NDV: “I am finished. I invested N18 million in this scheme believing it was real. Today, I now know it is total scam. I cannot believe my life savings including my mother’s gratuity has gone down the drain in the name of trying to multiply it ,I pray he never comes out of detention anymore, may he rot in jail because I know he may never pay back the money.” Mrs. Anabel Etuk said: “I collected my N700, 000 Osusu contributions and invested all in MICHENO hoping to get my return-on-investment and go for December market and then later pay back, and that was my first investment I don’t know if I can ever recover again “Now I am at a loss as to what next to do because I have to finish the contribution. Besides, my shop rent would soon expire so I had expected to use the profit from the bank to offset all these expenditures,” stated the trader.