More than 119,000 Ghanaians duped in Ponzi schemes in 2018

In 2018, about 119,300 Ghanaians lost their investments to four Ponzi schemes in the country.

Ponzi scheme

This is according to data from the Bank of Ghana.

According to the data, these four Ponzi businesses exclude the victims of Menzgold.

The victims lost a total of GHC59,568,000.

The four companies are Savannah Brokerage Investment Limited, Bitworld Investments Limited, FX Crypto Trading and Global Coin Community Help (GCCH)

Global Coin Community Help Scheme recorded the highest number of victims with 110, 000 people. The victims lost GHC46,869, 043.49.

Meanwhile, Savanah Brokerage Investment Limited recorded 9, 172 victims who lost GHC12,096,000.

One hundred people lost GHC500,000 through Bitworld Investments Limited, and 28 people lost GHC103,200 through FX Crypto Traders.

The victims include professors, students, market women, politicians, Teachers, police and Military officers, and pastors, among others.

The activities of these Ponzi schemes have put regulators of the financial sector under pressure to help the victims retrieve their money.

However, the Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission have argued that there are no provisions in Ghana’s Criminal Act, which deals with Ponzi and pyramid schemes.

This means that it may be difficult to make perpetrators face the law.

In a related development, the regulatory authorities have also argued that the victims must also take responsibility for failing to do due diligence before investing their money.

“If you decide to put your money in any investment scheme, you must bear the risk. You can’t say the government should come and bail you out from that risk you have taken. Then there will be some sorts of irresponsibility and no form of accountability,” Setor Amediku Head of Payment Systems at the BoG stated at a public lecture organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also said that even though it is working tirelessly to curb the trend, it is constrained due to several factors including financial constraints.

“We don’t have effective regulations to deal with Ponzi schemes. Financial literacy is key but the problem is that we don’t have money as a regulator and our financial system architecture has lapses which need to be redefined,” noted Emmanuel Ashong-Katai, Head of Policy Research and IT at the SEC.

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