Ponzi scheme has duped over 2 000 investors, mainly civil servants, of more than $100 000, it has been reported.
Lucky Butau, Nobuhle Butau, Angela Butau, Dumisani Butau and Jesca Maginya based in Gweru are accused of having swindled investors in the elaborate Ponzi scheme claiming they were genuine business people.
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Investors, mainly members of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service, the police and teachers, were duped into investing in the group which claimed the funds were posting significant profits on the money market.
Tapiwa Dzvene, a prison officer stationed at the Civil Court in Harare, told the Daily News yesterday that he had deposited $200 which was supposed to be withdrawn after a week with a 50 percent interest “but I was shocked when all of a sudden I could not access the money”.
“There were eight WhatsApp groups which had about 2 000 members and were administered by the Butaus in whose accounts we deposited money, so when I failed to access mine, I checked with colleagues who also informed me that they were facing the same problems. When we tried to contact the guys, their numbers were unreachable and that is when it dawned on us that we had been tricked,” Dzvene told the Daily News.
“Some of us have not done anything about it. But as I am speaking to you right now, several investors are at Harare Central Police Station, making reports because some had invested as much as $2 000, which means out of the eight groups, the guys could have got away with over $100 000.
A teacher at Bumburwi Secondary School in Marondera said they had hoped that “for the first time we could afford to save from our salaries after government paid us our 2016 bonuses this month.”
“When we discovered that even security personnel were part of the scheme, we thought there was no chance of being cheated,” the teacher said.-DN