It is bad news for the promoters of Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, otherwise known as ‘MMM’ in Nigeria as the House of Representatives on Wednesday, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately go after the promoters.
It specifically asked the EFCC to arrest MMM promoters and prosecute them. Most of the lawmakers who added to the discussion opposed the investment scheme and labeled it scam.
MMM gained popularity recently in Nigeria following the current economic recession in the country.
MMM Global has swept across Africa, with branches promising returns on investment of 30 per cent a month in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and some east African states.
It is masterminded by the former Russian politician Sergey Mavrodi, who went on the run when the original MMM – standing for Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox – collapsed in the late 1990s, losing investors an estimated $100m.
On its website, MMM Global unashamedly advertises itself as a scheme whereby new members “assist” older members by paying a fee to join.
Older members are allowed to withdraw money after a certain period of time, and receive bonuses for encouraging others to sign up.
The lawmakers warned Nigerians to be careful as this is yet another trick investment fraudsters use to attract people before vanishing with their money.
The House directed the EFCC, security agencies and the CBN to take urgent steps to halt the scheme before many Nigerians would become victims of the scam.
The House further directed it Committees on Banking/Currency and Financial Crimes to investigate the activities of MMM Nigeria Scheme, “with a view to saving Nigerians participating in the scheme from you financial ruin.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications, Mr. Saheed Fijabi, had in a motion, drawn the attention of the House to the growing popularity of the scheme among Nigerians.
Fijabi, an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Oyo State, represents Ibadan-South/West Federal Constituency.
“The scheme entered the Nigerian circle in 2016, capitalising on the high level of unemployment and poverty to deceive unwary Nigerians into falling prey to their antics”, Fijabi stated.
He said the fact that MMM was not regulated by law or approved by the CBN as a secure business venture, made Nigerians more vulnerable.