ABUJA-MEMBERS of the House of Representatives Wednesday resolve to probe into the operations of the internet based wonder bank, otherwise known as “MMM Nigeria Scheme” in order to save innocent Nigerians from falling prey to fraudsters in this era of economic recession.
Consequently, the House has mandated its committees on banking and currency as well as that on financial crimes to probe the operations of the wonder bank and report back to the House for further legislative action within the next four weeks.
This was however sequel to the adoption of the motion promoted by Rep. Saheed Akinade Fijabi, APC, OYO, complaining about the wide acceptance by Nigerians of the unregulated Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox scheme, popularly known as MMM which was established in 1989 by three Russian nationals with a promise that participants in the wonder scheme will make 30 per cent on investment after 30 days.
Fijabi noted that every Nigerian participating in the MMM scheme which has no legal backing is vulnerable to losing his/her investment as there is no identifiable platform to guarantee the security of the invested funds.
Already, he declared that the Central Bank of Nigeria has described the scheme as fraudulent, recalling that many Nigerians had been victims to similar schemes in the past, such as the Wes Solution, Pennywise and Wealth Creation, all in the name of making quick money.
According to him, the scheme prides itself as a mutual fund through which recruited members contribute money in form of assistance without any intent to engage in banking business. “But the scheme’s structure, operations and intendment indicate otherwise as their clients can have multi-level structures under them and receive bonus (in percentage) from each financial transaction of every participant in their structures.”
Fijabi further explained the scheme entered the Nigerian circle this year, by capitalizing on the high level of unemployment and poverty to deceive unwary Nigerians into falling prey to their antics. He averred that the antecedents of the founders of the scheme cannot guarantee security of investment in the scheme in the long run as reports indicate that similar schemes by the same founders had been launched in Russia where investors lost their monies running into millions of dollars.
“It is worthy of note that the government of China banned the operations of MMM on the ground that it was a payment pyramid scheme without registration in the country and has the capacity to cause financial havoc in the system”, Fijabi added.