In December, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officially declared Maxwell Odum, the CEO of MBA Trading and Capital Investment Ltd., a forex company, wanted.
In arguably the biggest investment fraud in Nigeria, Odum had defrauded thousands of his investors of billions of Naira.
In a desperate move to recover all they had lost to MBA, aggrieved investors wrote several petitions and also filed lawsuits, prompting the EFCC’s move.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would later declare that 125,397 investors deposited a total of N171 billion into several accounts belonging to the company.
Despite making EFCC’s wanted list, his location remains unknown.
More importantly, no one knows what became of the billions he stole from his company’s investors. Meanwhile, Udom’s was not a solo scam in 2021. Here are other big investment scams.
WALES KINGDOM CAPITAL (N40 BILLION)
In March 2019, Adewale Daniel Jayeoba, through Wales Kingdom Capital, his forex trading company located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, asked Nigerians to invest their monies in his company, promising them a 25 percent return on investment (ROI).
Daniel Wales, as he is fondly called, ended up defrauding the investors of N40 billion.
In June, the Lagos Zonal Office of the EFCC arrested and paraded Jayeoba’s parents. The commission accused them of conspiring with their son to defraud people of N935 million, being the money found in their accounts, in the guise of forex trading.
In the same month, the commission also declared Daniel Wales wanted. Despite that, no one knows his whereabouts to date.
IMAGINE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS LTD (N22 BILLION)
In yet another investment scam in 2021, Bamise Ajetunmobi, the Managing Director of Imagine Global Solutions Ltd., and Elizabeth, his wife, robbed unsuspecting investors of over N22 billion.
For three years, the institution founded in 2017 focused on raising capital through investors and lending money to small business owners at a 22 percent interest rate.
In return, the investors get up to three and a half percent ROI at the end of every month, depending on the agreement signed.
However, things took a dramatic turn in August, when for no clear reasons, the company stopped paying ROIs to its investors.
In October, after two months of non-payment of ROI, Imagine Global Solutions’ board decided to meet to determine the way forward.
When Bamise failed to show up at the meeting, the members visited him at his Ikoyi residence. It turned out that he had fled the country with his family.
Bamise also made sure all the funds in his company and personal accounts were emptied before leaving the country.
Despite rumours that he and his family had fled to Antigua, the Caribbean country’s government later came out to deny ever granting entry to the fleeing Nigerian and his family.
It also assured the government of Nigeria that Bamise and his wife would be arrested and deported to Nigeria if found on the island country. Like others, nothing has been heard about Bamise since then.
ADDY FINANCE AND INVESTMENT LTD (N13 BILLION)
In June, investors of Addy Finance and Investment Ltd. realised they had been defrauded when the company would no longer pay monthly ROIs ranging from 13 to 25 percent.
Owned by Adoms Uju Francis, the forex trading company ended up scamming its over 2,000 investors to the tune of N13 billion.
Some aggrieved investors would later seek a court order causing all the company’s bank accounts to be frozen.
In the same month, the Nigeria Police and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) got an arrest warrant from a High Court in Lagos and declared Adoms wanted.
Till now, no one knows where Adoms is.
BENIGNANT FORTE NIGERIA LTD (N10 BILLION)
In July, Akor Phillip’s Benignant Forte Nigeria Ltd. joined the league of dubious investment companies in the country. It stopped paying the six to 15 percent ROIs promised investors.
The company which claimed to deal in real estates, logistics, haulage, and Agro-allied services is presently holding on to N10 billion investors’ money.
In a statement, the company said it would halt business activities and investor payments in a bid to sort out the challenges it was having with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
It also promised to refund all investors. But since then, nothing has been done.
Interestingly, prior to the period it became obvious that the company was in a financial crisis, Akor got married in an elaborate fashion. He reportedly spent N4.5 million on the wedding cake and another N45 million on other expenses.
On December 16, Benignant Forte released a statement through its official Facebook page, inviting investors to a Zoom meeting that would also be attended by a provisional liquidator.
However, the invitation sparked angry reactions from the investors, with most of them stating that the company should stop giving them false hope.
While the above are about the biggest investment scams in the year 2021 based on the amounts involved, FIJ published several other similar stories and released a directory of investment scammers. Find it here.
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