It is no longer news, MMM Nigeria is the new ‘bride’ in town – a new pyramid marketing scheme in that is spreading like wildfire. There is hardly anywhere you go to these days that you won’t hear people talk about it – either telling stories of how the ponzi scheme has turned their lives around, or how they’ve just got to know it, and are planning to pour in their savings into it. You may even run into the promoters at a restaurant, coffee shops, lecture rooms, offices – who are readily available to bring you into the fold.

How did MMM Nigeria come to be? Who brought it into the country, and when? What are the regulations against it? What’s the statistics of those involved in the ponzi scheme?

Nigerian Bulletin brings you a list of things you should know about MMM Nigeria.

1. MMM Nigeria is an offshoot of MMM Global – a Russian company that was responsible for one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes in the 1990s. It was founded by Russian politician Sergei Mavrodi, his brother Vyacheslav Mavrodi and Olga Melnikova. The name of the company was taken from the first letters of the three founders’ surnames (MMM)

2. MMM Nigeria is a pyramid marketing scheme where you invest some money and within weeks, you get a 30 per cent return on investment.

3. Recent statistics from Alexa show that MMM is the visited site in Nigeria before Nairaland.com, Jumia.com, Twitter and far ahead of Lindaikeji.com, Vanguard newspaper and others.

4. The Central Bank of Nigeria early November warned Nigerians of the pyramid scheme. Also the House of Representatives has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to go after the MMM promoters, condemning the scheme as unregulated by law and insecure.

5. According to Page One, Ernest Mbanefo, a Nigerian pastor (full name -Pastor Ernest Chigozie Mbanefo) based in South Africa registered and owns MMM-Nigeria.net domain.

This is in contrast with the believe that Sergei Mavrodi owns all MMM sites across the world.

PageOne report further reveals that Ernest Mbanefo with the address: 1 ROYAL STREET, LINDBERG PARK, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA registered the domain on the 7th of June, 2016 (2016-06-07T17:01:12Z). He did a single year domain payment which means the domain will expire on 2017-06-07T17:01:12Z.

6. MMM Nigeria, through inference, now has over 600,000 members.

7. Recent Alexa ranking showed that over 99% of Nigerian young graduates are participating in the scheme while over 40% college students also engaged in the scheme, while 75% male and 25% female participating.

8. MMM could be said crept into Nigeria less than a year ago, as the operators and beneficiaries recently marked a year anniversary by donating items to the IDP camp – as part of the activities of their humanitarian week marking one year anniversary.

9. In January 2016 the Chinese government banned MMM on the grounds that it is a pyramid scheme, (Ponzi scheme), and it is not registered in the country (and as a fraudulent scheme cannot be registered.

10. MMM Recently Crashed in Zimbabwe: Thousands of ‘Mavrodians’ in Zimbabwe were left in tears when the scheme crashed, losing tens of thousands of their lifetime savings.

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