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FG shuts down Ponzi scheme, arrests masterminds

The Nigerian Government, through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has sealed up the premises of Yuan Dong (YDEC) Ponzi scheme for unacceptable investment operations in the country.

The Head, Corporate Communication of SEC, Mr Naif Abdussalam, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the closure was to end unlawful activities of the company against unsuspecting investors.
 
“Investments in the scheme range from a minimum deposit of N10,000 to a maximum deposit of N240,000.
 
“The investment period of the scheme is pegged at a minimum of 30 working days to a maximum period of 10 months with offer of interest rates on short and medium term basis.
 
“The company promises a daily profit of N80 and N2,400 depending on the category of investment,” he said.
 
Abdussalam said the commission’s investigations showed that the company also enticed its customers with payment of bonuses should they convince more investors to invest in the scheme.
 
He said that the commission had established that the company’s activities also constituted a breach of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA), 2007.
 
“Furthermore it was discovered that contrary to their supposed existence in over 20 locations across the country, the company only has functional offices in Asaba, Kano and Abuja.
 
“The promoters of these illegal operations have been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force and are undergoing interrogation.
 
“The Commission wishes to notify the investing public that the company is not licensed to carry out investments business of any type and as such its operations are illegal,” he said.
 
Abdussalam advised the public to exercise due diligence and caution in the course of making investment decisions.
 
He said valid licence of lawful operators could be obtained on the commission’s website by members of the public to confirm the licences of firms they intend to carry investment activities with.
 
Yuan Dong claims to be part of the Yuan Dong A Mart, a Far Eastern group  Yuan Dong that claims to be involved in  textiles, petrochemicals and energy, polyester and synthetic fibre, cement and building materials, retail and department stores, financial services, sea/land transportation, communications and Internet, construction, hotels and philanthropies. It claims 60 years of business experience.
 
It also claims to have  nine public listed companies in the Group which has total assets exceeding US$80 billion, with annual revenues surpassing US$18.7 billion and over 600,000 VIP and shareholders.
 
For a company that claims a Far Eastern pedigree, the telephone contacts that it listed were all Nigerian lines: +2349094841399 and +2349093074954. Its office address is also the 2nd Floor, Othni Plaza, Zone 1 Abuja, clearly contradicting its Far Eastern origin and indicating that the website was created to fool unsuspecting Nigerians.
 
•Adapted from a NAN report. 
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