The fate of over three thousand investors of a trading company known as MBA Forex in Port Harcourt, Rivers State is currently hanging in the balance, reports The PUNCH.
Their fate hangs in the balance over the alleged collapse of the firm.
Many investors decried the firm’s failure to fulfil its agreement of paying them their monthly dividends that depend on individual investment for October, November and December.
The PUNCH correspondent who visited the company’s imposing office located at Waterlines bus stop, Aba Road observed that the gate was closed, with no sign of activity going on there.
A lady who was the only person seen seated inside the company’s compound told The PUNCH correspondent that the place had been closed since Monday.
When our reporter who disguised as an investor queried the delayed payment, she said, “Don’t worry you will be paid. If you paid online, your money will be in your wallet. Just be patient.”
Meanwhile, the company in a text message to its investors obtained by The PUNCH correspondent said the company had closed for the year.
The message reads, “MBA Trading: Dear Investor, We wish to inform you that our offices will be closed for Christmas holiday from the 21st of December 2020, and will begin operations for the New Year on the 5th of January, 2021.”
It was further gathered that one of the reasons for the delayed payment was because the operator had claimed he invested about 90 per cent of investors’ funds with a foreign partner where he retains 10 per cent shares but was waiting for the transactions to be streamlined.
Anxious investors who waited in vain after their accounts were not credited in the last two months stormed the firm’s premises to demand an explanation but there was no one to attend to them as the gate had been closed.
One of the investors, Chibuike Amaike, who claimed to have paid in two separate packages said he was being owed for three months.
“They owe me for three months. I invested on 29th September. So I am supposed to collect on October 29, but they didn’t pay. They didn’t pay for November 29 and this December, though it is not yet 29, there is no sign that they will pay. If you go there now their office is even locked.
“I called some of my friends who are investors too. They said the one that was due on the 4th of this month (December), till now they (the firm) have not paid.
“When you invest on November 4th, for example, you are supposed to collect on December 4th, though sometimes it delays for one or two days. I have two investment with them, N360, 000 in July and N360, 000 in September. Though the July own, they paid me August, September, October. That was when they stopped.
“But the second investment I did on 29th September, I have not collected a dime and if they don’t pay this 29th it will make it three months,” he explained.
Asked if the company gave reasons for the delay in payment, he said, “Well, they told us on the first week of November that due to a merger with WCB, a company in the United Kingdom, taking over 90 per cent shares of the company.
“That they will not pay in November and that we should give them a contract extension of one month. Everybody agreed. But they said from 1st of December they will start paying. They are supposed to have started payment from 6th December and people have been complaining because they are not paying.
“As it is now, my plan is that if they open on January 5, I will fill a form of termination. They should give me back my money. They even said if it is not up to the month you did the contract like I did one six months and another one year. That if it is not up to that they will collect ten per cent. I don’t mind. They should take 10 per cent and give me back my money.”
Another customer who did not want her in print said, “They said we should be patient, that we will soon get our alert for three months. When I went to the place on Wednesday, the gate was closed and nobody to attend to us.
“I invested N360, 000 and I get alert of N60, 000 every month. But since September, I have not got a dime. I know people that invested one million and half a million. What are they going to do now?” a female investor lamented.
Efforts to reach the Chief Executive Officer of MBA Trading Capital Investment Limited, Mr Maxwell Odum, proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off.
When one customer said the man was not in the country, our correspondent sent a WhatsApp message to him but did not get any response at the time of filing this report.
When contacted, spokesman of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, said, “Have they reported to the police?
“We are not aware of now. If they have any issue, they should do a formal report to the command and we know what to do.”
Head of Corporate Communications at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Efe Ebelo, told our correspondent that MBA Forex was not registered with the regulatory agency.
She said SEC had in June disowned the company and warned the public against transacting any business with it.
The statement in June made available to our correspondent listed MBA Forex and 11 others as Ponzi schemes.
Here are the Ponzi schemes listed by the SEC.
Loom Nigeria Money
Box Value Trading Company Ltd
Flip Cash Investment
Result Investment Nigeria Limited
Helping Hand and Investment
No Failure Development and Empowerment Nig. Ltd
MBA Forex and Investment Ltd
Federate Investors Trading Company
Jamalife Helpers Global Ltd
Flexus Global Solutions and Investment Ltd
United Capital Investment Company Limited