By Tunde Johnson, Abuja
Notorious ponzi scheme MMM has officially announced a “RESTART” of the system, leaving many Nigerian participants wailing with thousands and millions of naira trapped in the scheme.
In a message posted on the home page of participants on Saturday, the scheme said that it had struggled to stay afloat after going on a break in Dec. 2016 but had been forced to do a system restart.
Many of the participants who commented in various MMM Whatsapp groups recounted sadly how they and family members had lost millions to the scheme.
MMM is a ponzi scheme which gained popularity in Nigeria in 2016. It promised to pay participants 30 per cent return on investment every 30 days.
Despite various warnings by the Federal Government and its financial regulators, many Nigerians adamantly went on to participate in MMM.
Recall that in 2016, the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned Nigerians against putting their money in the scheme.
In December 2016, the scheme went on “Pause Mode”, freezing the funds of participants and allegedly bolted with N18 billion but promised to resume payments by January 2017.
MMM kept its promise by resuming in January but it had new rules: 2016 money was to be paid back in percentages of new money “invested”.
This also did not stand the test of time and by July 2017, the scheme went on a semi pause mode when it could not pay withdrawal requests.
While those who lost their money in June/July continued to wait and lament, the ponzi scheme, in a frantic effort to stay afloat, commenced payment of those who “invested” their money in August, promising to backdate the payment to cover those whose money were still pending from June and July.
It even introduced 100 per cent return on investment to encourage more Nigerians to participate in August.
Apparently unable to meet its promises to pay back June/July pledges and faced with more challenges, the ponzi scheme on Saturday announced that it was going on restart, blaming the Nigerian government and the media for its woes which started in 2016.
Read the full text of the message:
Unfortunately, we were unable to overcome the consequences of the crisis triggered by the authorities and mass media incautious actions at the beginning of this year. Despite all our efforts. The problems have been accumulating and, as a result, we have to announce a restart.
So, there is a restart:
All old Mavros (acquired before this announcement is posted) are frozen. We will gradually buy them back as the System develops.
All transactions with new Mavros (acquired after this announcement is posted) will be carried out on the usual terms with no restrictions.
Some amendments have been made to the rules:
Mavros will now start growing at the moment the request is confirmed (not at the moment it is created, as it was previously).
Consequently, bonuses will start growing at the moment when the main contribution is confirmed (upon which bonuses have been rewarded on).
Mavro-50% for the first contribution will not be available.
We launch three-month contributions of two types: 40% and 50% (see more details in WHAT IS MMM).
We’re confident that this measure (especially paragraphs 1 and 2) will significantly reduce the load on the System while also significantly improving its stability.
As a matter of fact, a restart is not the end of the world, it’s just a restart of the System and nothing more. Continue to provide help and you’ll get it all back (even if you’ve lost something now). It all starts from the beginning. It’s the most opportune time for participating.
We would also like to remind you (just for form’s sake) that everyone had been fully aware of all the risks and had read the WARNING which they had also confirmed by checking the relevant box in the process of registration.
Hoping for your understanding,
Some of the participants of the scheme expressed regrets for ever joining MMM.
One of the participants (names with held) said that if he had known he would have used his money fro something better rather than investing on the scheme.
“This MMM people are very useless, they just came to dupe us,” he said.
On the promise by the scheme to buy back the debts it owed Nigerians when it restarts, he said: “Restart? who are they restarting with? Nobody will join MMM in Nigeria again”.
“MMM is gone and gone for good,” he said.