The Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), has admonished Nigerians to “protect” themselves and “not patronise wonder banks,” after popular money making scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM), placed a one month freeze on withdrawals.
The Ponzi scheme, which had gained prominence in controversy, had broken the ‘hearts’ of over 3 million Nigerians on Tuesday, after it announced the suspension of payments to participants till January 2017.
Several Nigerians, who had basked in the thought of enjoying the Christmas celebrations with the money they cashed out on the wonder bank, have been left wallowing in the gust of panic and alternatives following the incident.
A letter displayed on pages of participants of the scheme cited “heavy workload on system” as reason for the freeze.
The letter reads: “One-month Freezing of Confirmed Mavros. Dear members, as usual in the New Year season, the system is experiencing heavy workload. Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by authorities in the mass media.
“The things are still going well; the participants feel calm; everyone gets paid – as you can see, there haven’t been any payment delays or other problems yet – but… it is better to avoid taking risk. Moreover, there are just three weeks left to the New Year.
“On the basis of the above mentioned, therefore, all confirmed Mavros will be frozen for a month.
“The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year and then, when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled, which we will definitely do.
“We hope for your understanding. Administration.”
Sequel to the announcement, the premier anti graft agency was dragged into the ‘livid’ hullabaloo that was triggered in the country’s social media community, after a Twitter user @Lolami_Boo, called out the agency, beckoning on other MMM users to hold them responsible for the alleged crash of the ponzi scheme.
The user wrote: “Where the hell was EFCC? Isn’t it your job to stop crap like this?”
Apparently unwilling to succumb to petty and frivolous accusations, the EFCC, swiftly yet satirically, on its official handle @officialEFCC replied:
“You mean amongst the plethora of venality we fight daily, Ponzi schemes aren’t sustainable?
“There were a number of warning.”
Later on, the anti graft commission admonished Nigerians, saying:
“If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.
“Respect your hard work and be content. Please stay away from quick return schemes. Please.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had earlier informed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had warned Nigerians against participating in the scheme, which they described as a “Ponzi” scheme.
In October, the House of Representatives also ordered an investigation into operations of the scheme.
In the wake of the accounts’ suspension by MMM, a man in Makurdi in Benue state of Nigeria was reported to have ingested insecticide after he learnt of the development and was quickly rushed to the hospital.
The report alleged that the man was shocked that he could not collect the returns on his N300,000 investment, which he would have used for his wedding, planned for January 2017.
In an attempt to stem the tide and forestall further negative reaction to the crash of the Ponzi scheme, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) alerted families to be vigilant against possible suicide by subscribers and investors – adding that suicide rate ‘may’ rise in the state.
On its Twitter account yesterday, the agency directed families and friends of subscribers to call 112 in case of or suspicion suicide in any part of the state, Vanguard reports.
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) December 13, 2016
Meanwhile, top MMM guider, Chuddy has addressed MMM investors on the one month freeze of accounts.
He said: “This isn’t the first of its kind. It happens when there are excess PANIC in the system It was placed on Zimbabwe and after the duration it was lifted. “As MMM Freezes And Goes Offline Few Weeks Before Christmas This idea is brought forward to Calm the members down on intending Threat the FG and Mass media has planned on the system.’’