The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested Dotun, brother of Bowofade Adewuyi, who is owing N2bn to investors in the binary options company, BTD Multi-Global Company.
In what is strongly looking like an MMM style Ponzi scheme, investors have been left stranded going 2 years now, with BowoFade nowhere to be found.
More than 3,000 investors have had their hopes of returns dashed by the 24-year old and drop out of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
BTD Multi-Global Company was incorporated in 2015 and soon after, began trading in forex using money from investors to whom it promised returns starting from 20% upwards depending on the duration of the investment plan.
The first two years was bliss for investors but since mid-2017, it has become a different story. The company reportedly reached out by mail to its investors, asking for a 6month ban on withdrawals, within which time it hoped to prop up dwindling funds and diversify trades better to recoup losses.
That 6-month period ended in 2017 and the ban has remained, with all invested funds locked up in the company’s control and the CEO, Bowo missing in the ether.
Victims have been lamenting their losses and in some cases, death has been recorded from the despair suffered.
Adedotun, his 22-year-old brother has however been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as investigations. Adedotun is the company vice president.
A Pastor Olubunmi Adeleke who invested in the scheme lamented the loss of his family’s investments and also claimed a woman he introduced to the firm, Alhaja Laide Aminu, has died from hypertension caused by the loss of her money.
A businessman, who identified himself only as Tobi, said he deposited N1m into the company in 2016.
He said, ‘I stay in Ile-Ife, where the company had its office. I saw their adverts on billboards and posters and that was how I got enticed. Part of the money belonged to my mum; it was her life savings. She was about to retire when she gave me the money and we thought we could use the returns to build our own house after living in a rented apartment for years.’
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Another victim, Chinyere Odemenam, said she invested N1.5m in the company, adding that the money belonged to her and a friend.
A palm kernel producer in Ondo State, Azeez Ogunnupebi, said he lost N4.7m to the scheme.
‘My brother who lives in the US asked me to build a house for him. I took part of his money to invest in the company with the hope that I could make some money for myself before starting the project. I also invested my money. I have yet to get anything back,’ the 25-year-old said.
It is reported that a select number of investors, numbering over 500 engaged Caritas Law and Partner, who wrote to EFCC, Independent and Corrupt Practices and allied matters Commission and the police division of the Security and Exchange Commission.
A copy of the letter to the EFCC zonal office at Ibadan, Oyo State, dated December 17, 2017, stated that the company lied that it had a comprehensive insurance and was a registered financial institution.
‘The company fraudulently claimed in all its advertisement materials and terms of agreement to be an investment company that is registered with all necessary regulatory bodies.
‘The company further fraudulently claimed… to have taken out an insurance policy that will protect 100 percent of the invested capital of first-time investors and 50 percent of the investment balance (capital plus accrued interests) of existing investors in case of any loss.
‘From around February 2015 to around May 2017, members of the public thronged the company with hard-earned millions. Bowofade and his fictitious company on the other hand, though having no license to run a deposit-collecting financial institution, illegally accepted deposits from over 8,000 members of the public in excess of N2bn, contrary to Section 29(1) and punishable under Section 2 (1) of the Bank and other Financial Institutions Act Cap. B3 LFN 2004,” the letter read in part.
Adedotun, Bowofade’s brother and vice president remain optimistic that the company will honor its duties to pay investors.
He said, ‘The company was founded in 2014. The vision of my brother was to create a stable financial future for Nigerians. The company invested in futures and option schemes. When he does financial trading, he calculates the returns and delivers back to investors.
‘From 2015 to 2016, the company started gaining grounds with more depositors coming in. Things were running smoothly and we had terms and conditions. We advised clients that although things were good now, the scheme had its risks.
‘However, by late 2016, there was a slight loss in the general funds. As of then, my brother still tried to recoup the funds and even got some people to assist him in trading. In April to June 2017, the company experienced a serious depletion of funds.
‘The company sent emails to clients to explain the situation. We told them that we would go on a six-month recovery period, which ought to terminate in December 2017. However, during this period, we experienced more losses. At the end of the period, it was still difficult to pay people.
‘In December 2017, we gave the investors two options: terminate your account or choose to refinance
. We had several meetings to explain things to them. After people had been asked to make their choices, we were advised to vacate our office at Ede, Ile-Ife, for a week.
‘On December 27, 2018, we decided to close the office while working from a remote place. The following day, some clients came to the new place, broke the windows into the building and set it on fire. My brother and I with 12 other workers escaped death by a whisker. That was how Bowofade decided to leave town because if anything should happen to him, the funds would be lost. His life is important. The only way for us to get the money back is for us to keep working.’
He said he had yet to hear from his brother since the fire incident and he did not know his whereabouts.
A spokesperson for the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, Meekness Ogeh, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing.