When I first came across this news headlines, I have to admit I hid a chuckle. Talk about chickens coming home to roost. Kenyans being duped by a cryptocurrency Ponzi scam, was a sweet payback for all those times, when our parents and grandparents (AKA old people) were being scammed by fraudsters who claimed to be “Nigerian princes” who wanted to share their wealth, if only recipients would be kind enough to share their bank details.
In all seriousness, many Kenyan investors were left in shock, when it emerged that they had unwittingly put in their hard-earned money into a scheme that was all kinds of fraudulent. According to local media reports, a company called Velox 10, shut shop after duping millions of dollars from unsuspecting Kenyan investors.
Interestingly, while this may come as a shock to Kenyans, Indians are only too aware of these types of Ponzi scheme. In November, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had discovered that a Bangalore-based company, Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, involved in Islamic banking and halal investment, was allegedly running a Ponzi scheme.
At the time, the ED had said, “During the investigation, it came to the fore that the scheme run by the company is surely a potential Ponzi scheme. In view of the above, ED has written to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to have another look into the matter and protect the interest of the investors/depositors at large who are being duped in the name of Islamic banking/halal investment.”
Apparently, Velox 10 had lured investors by claiming to be a “bitcoin investment fund.” Richard Rocha, the founder of Velox 10, promised investors a daily profit of up to $4000. Investors got profits depending on the amount of “membership fee” they paid to the company.
A victim, Ester Muthoni had invested 3.2 million Kenyan shilling ($32000) and was promised to earn up to 50 percent profit on her investment. Velox 10 failed to deliver on their promise. Her efforts to get her money back bore no fruit, leading to her reporting the matter to police, according to local reports.
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