Nobody should do a roll call of Nigerians who have proven that Instagram is the headquarters of “fake life” in recent times without including Jeremy Desmond Woyens, the leader of the fraudulent HoneyPays Group that scammed many Nigerians of millions of naira last year.
Woyens’ polished Instagram account is not only impressive for an entrepreneur, as he claims, but also dazzling because his page reflects that he is a committed Christian who believes in hard work and shuns fraud.
A BROTHER IN THE LORD
His last post, dated August 24, 2020, was a religious one where he “thanked God for what he is doing privately and publicly”, while the previous one portrayed him as an established Nigerian entrepreneur with landed property for sale in Dubai.
But for months before that, he sold himself as a committed church man whom the public could trust with their funds. In a post on June 23, 2019, he wrote, accompanied by a photo: “And that’s how my Family in Christ Embassy U Turn, Lagos Zone 4 celebrated me this morning in Church. Am honored [sic], thank you Pastor Sir Joe Asaju Agbaje for this honour. I Love You all. Thank you for the words of prophecy and prayers.”
In another the following day, he shared a birthday picture that included a message from Christ Embassy Zone 4, reading: “Thank you so much for all that you do for the Lord and His saints. We celebrate you as always on this special day. We love you so dearly. FROM ALL OF US AT CHRIST EMBASSY LAGOS ZONE 4.”
His frequent references to Bible passages and the Christ Embassy must have made the public believe they were dealing with a man too committed to God to fail them. How disappointed they must be in Brother Woyens!
NEVER BELIEVED IN ‘PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH’
Although Woyens was able to scam people despite a show of performative Christianity, he revealed his deepest beliefs in a December 3, 2019 post.
“Never be unteachable,” he wrote, “and your teacher doesn’t have to practice [sic] what he preaches to validate it; learn it anyhow.”
Incredulous how his investors never knew he wouldn’t practice what he preached as it concerned their funds.
LEARNER’S PERMIT FOR FRAUD?
In a prost on April 10, 2020, Woyens told his followers: “Never stop learning. Be humble enough to admit that what you know is never enough. #Learner.”
Attached to this was a picture bearing the inscription: “You don’t need a learner’s permit to learn what you don’t know.”
Well, what they didn’t know: their money was not safe with him. And they found out the hard way!
EMPOWERMENT OF 500 SMEs
On January 6, 2020, he shared a link to a ThisDay piece claiming HoneyPays had empowered 500 Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises. He was pictured in dashing suits, flanked on the right by two men and a woman, and on the left by a man and a woman.
Four of those five — believed to be the HoneyPays staff he referenced in the piece as being “celebrated for their commitment over the years towards the growth of the organisation” — were holding award plaques.
In hindsight, this must have been a ruse, considering that one staff member told FIJ last week he was owed from November 2019 to March 2020 before he was dismissed.
ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP TO DUBAI
On August 6, 2019, Woyens advertised an all expense paid trip to Dubai.
“If you have plans to miss this year’s edition of the HoneyPays All Expense Paid Trip to Dubai, kindly have a change of heart because we are raising the bar this year,” he wrote.
“A tour of the HoneyPays Luxury Apartment and ongoing real estate projects in Dubai you can cash in on, trust me you don’t want to miss this. The real estate potential of the UAE is getting more and more juicy, the best time to cash in? Now!
“Allow us hold your hands through this process, together with our trusted partners at @damacofficial you can be be sure of nothing but the best real estate deals available.”
He ended that post by saying “See you in Dubai.” But ask his multitude of investors, today they can’t even see him in Nigeria!
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