The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has arrested one Russian and two of his Nigerian accomplices for defrauding Nigerians of about N3bn through a Ponzi scheme.
According to a statement from the anti-graft agency, it has recovered N216, 402,565.05 from Swiss Golden Investment, an online investment company.
It said the recovery was sequel to a petition the commission received from complainants who alleged they invested in the company “advertised as an online investment that deals with buying and selling of gold bars”.
The statement quoted the petitioner as saying the company refused to pay them any dividend or their capital after “investing over a billion naira into the business”.
On receiving the petition, the EFCC invited the petitioners and through intelligence, arrested one Maxim Lobaty, a Russian (pictured), 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,” the EFCC said.
“Swiss Golden 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 have now been recovered.”
“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 said.
Many Nigerians are registered with Swiss Golden which has a networking angle, just like MMM now of late memory.
Information on its website shows that participants are meant to buy gold, partner with the company as advertising agents while encouraging other prospective partners to also register to get a bonus in return.