*N1.12 bn ponzi scheme’s bank accounts freeze
Not less than 28 companies are still unable to meet the fines imposed on them for various breaches of market rules and regulations, hence are still undergoing various sanctions from the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC after five years of enforcement.
The Commission has also freeze Ponzi scheme’s banks’ accounts worth N1.12 billion as part of its commitment to tackle illicit businesses in the capital market.
Investigation as gathered from SEC’s bulletin on companies facing enforcement action since 2015 reveals that about 25 companies are undergoing various sanctions for various offences ranging from sale of unauthorised sale of clients shares, failure to pay clients return on investment, breach of share purchase and resell agreement among others.
The Companies are Wema Securities Limited, Indemnity Investment and Securities Limited, First Integrated Capital Management Limited, Foresight Securities & Investment Limited, Midlands Investment Limited, Sikon Securities Limited, Elyon Asset Management Limited, Midland Capital Market Limited, Epic Investment Limited, Zuma Securities Limited, Dolbic Finance Limited, IMTL Securities Limited, Tropics Securities Limited, New Horizon Securities Limited , LYNAC Securities Limited, Indemnity Finance Limited .
Others are: Global Investment and Securities Limited, ITIS Securities Limited, HP Securities Limited, Folu Securities Limited, First Marina Trust Limited, Equator Stockbrokers Limited, City Finance and Securities Limited, Riverside Trust Limited, Peak Securities Limited, Omnisource Investment Limited, Professional Stockbrokers Limited, Kingsley Securities Limited, Richmond Securities Limited and Niche Securities Limited.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director General, SEC, Mary Uduk has outlined that the Commission received 167 complaints and resolved 102 complaints in 2019 with N100.11 million and 8,848 shares recovered for investors. SEC is also prosecuting eight capital market fraud cases while it generated N194.48 million from penalties during the period.
SEC stated that it blocked four bank accounts and real estate properties linked to operators of ponzi schemes while the Commission also sealed premises of four operators.
The blocked assets included N1.12 billion in various bank accounts and real estate properties valued at N1.23 billion.
Uduk, who presented the Commission’s scorecard for last year and plan for 2020 in Lagos, said the Commission recorded significant successes in its efforts to protect the Nigerian public from unscrupulous persons.
She explained that 2019 saw an upsurge in the activities of ponzi schemes in Nigeria and the Commission had to step up its enforcement actions to safeguard the public and deter the illegal operators.
According to her, the Commission went after many of the promoters and directors of such schemes, securing a conviction last year while many others are presently being prosecuted.
“We will continue to combat ponzi schemes this year. We intend to continue leveraging on the Memoranda of Understanding that were signed between the Commission and key stakeholders like the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to strengthen our ability to do this” Uduk said.