The 2016 annual report of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) has revealed that within six months, no fewer than 23 Nigerian banks received inflows amounting to N28.7 billion executed in 460,000 transactions through the Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (MMM) Ponzi scheme. By the time the scheme “crashed” on December 13, 2016, over N11.9 billion had been lost by gullible subscribers.
The amount, almost six times over the budget of the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in the 2017 budget and 61 per cent higher than the budget of the Federal Ministry of Education, was moved between June and December 2016.
A quick fact-check by THISDAY of the 2017 budget, however revealed that N139.3 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Defence for its capital spending programme for the year, while N330.54 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure.
In the case of the budget of the education ministry, the National Assembly passed a provision of N398.70 billion for recurrent spending and N56.72 billion for capital expenditure for the year.
The NeFF report added that the peak of the MMM investment was in November 2016, when over N13 billion was transferred among the participants, pointing out that the CBN had in the middle of 2016 warned about the dangers of the scheme.
The report, which was unveiled in Abuja Tuesday at a stakeholders workshop on cybercrime, organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), disclosed that since the MMM scheme had a 30-day cycle before return-on-investment (RoI) was realised, everyone who put money into it after November 12, 2016 did not get their money out.
“No fewer than 23 banks received inflows amounting to N28.7 billion executed in 460,000 transactions through the MMM Ponzi scheme. The amount put into the scheme between November 13th and December 15th, 2016 (through interbank transactions) totals over NGN11.9bn. This amount was largely not recovered.
“To put this amount into perspective, the 2017 budget for Defence Headquarters is N4.7 billion. This implies that the amount transferred by Nigerians under the MMM Ponzi scheme would have funded the Nigerian Defence HQ almost six times over.
“Majority of the transfers made by customers of banks that participated in the MMM Ponzi scheme were made through the account-to-account transfer platform.
Did you find this article informative? Kindly like, comment and share!