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1 month ago | Pop Culture

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Swiss Golden: EFCC nabs ponzi scheme owners accused of scamming 7,000 Nigerians

A Russian, Maxim Lobaty, is reportedly one of the suspects connected with the Swiss Golden ponzi scheme, alleged to scammed 7,000 Nigerians.

Two Nigerians have been nabbed in addition with a Russian contemporary, Maxim Lobaty, on suspicion of fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has nabbed representatives of an online ponzi scheme, Swiss Golden Investment, alleged to have robbed investors of close to N3 billion.

This was confirmed in a statement offered by the EFCC via Facebook on Monday, April 16, 2018.

 

Three members of the organization, a Russian, Maxim Lobaty, two Nigerians, Austin Emenike and Dickson Nonso Onuchukwu have been apprehended in Lagos according to 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," reads a Facebook statement

It was gathered that 7,000 Nigerians have fallen as victims for the ponzi scheme.

A sum of 216, 402,565.05 (Two Hundred and Sixteen Million, Four Hundred and Two Thousand, Five Hundred Sixty Five Naira), was reportedly recovered from the suspects who were questioned at EFCC's zonal office in Kano.

What Swiss Golden means upon inquiry

Upon inquiry, I was made to understand that Swissgolden is not a gold mining company neither do they manufacture Gold (NOTE). They only buy and Sell.

Swissgolden is an online shop, just like going to a gold shop to buy gold.

Just like going to a gold shop to buy gold?

Furthermore, I have debriefed that Swissgolden as a company buys and sells gold bullion bars for individuals.

And these bullion bars can be used in making gold jewelry or better still, as stock for future purpose.

Swissgolden Nigeria is believed to be working with internationally renowned companies such as UBS, one of the most important financial centers in Switzerland and UK.

They claim to have users in more than hundred countries around the globe.

But, curiosity won’t let me be; and in other to satisfy her, I went on questioning.

 

How does SwissGolden operate?

Swissgolden business opportunity is designed for entrepreneurs. And they trade in investment gold bars.

I was also schooled to understand that investment gold bars are 24 karats of the purest 999.9 gold from respectable refineries in Germany, Switzerland, Russia.

The Gold is said to be kept in United Bank Of Swaziland.

Swissgold program is based on a Table of Orders – a 7-celled table; – The main tables are the Main Table of Order, Start Table of Order, VIP Table of Order and VIP+ Table of Order.

– The Tables of order have corresponding preliminary tables of order.

Quite confusing, right?

Is Swissgolden a scam or another Ponzi scheme?

When there are over a hundred means of payment that includes credit card, electronic banking and transfer, and no proper explanation on how the delivery process is done on the company's website, then clarity should be demanded.

Be that as it may, there are two questions that should not be overlooked.

 

1. Why is Swissgolden operating a pyramid scheme?

Swissgolden.com applies a pyramid scheme, and this method is considered as scam. Investors can purchase new matrix either indirectly or directly.

As a matter of fact, Swissgolden is more like a Ponzi scheme; the matrix positions are deemed as the investment.

The main focus of Swissgolden is to recruit people, and they solely depend on money invested by investors.

Undoubtedly, the gold seems irrelevant upon clear thinking. And this is common with businesses operating with this structure.

All the funds taken are cash and the commission is as well paid in cash.

2. Why the lack of transparency?

It is true that transparency cannot be separated from a legit cooperation. And where transparency is wanting, questions are bound to arise.

Who is the founder of swissgolden? When was it established? Swissgolden did not mention any of these on their website and in so doing; they create an air of mystery around their brand.

 

ALSO READ: Ponzi scheme yet to pay Nigerians after return

In addition to this, Swissgolden website was not properly proofread. And for the developer to overlook this after all these time simply connote something fishy.

But then, I will not conclude here that Swissgolden is a scam. And this is because there are testimonies of people benefiting from it. 

However, investors should always remember that a scheme is not a scam until it becomes impossible for the investor to reclaim his/her money

I rate Swissgolden 4/10. When it comes to investing money, there should be no room for doubt and questions.

Bob Alash Photo

Bob Alash is a Chief Editor at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on Pop Culture and some other section of our website.

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