Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Zone Six police headquarters, in Calabar, Cross River State, has arrested one of the two Swiss Gold Ponzi scheme operators, Mrs. Lizzy Efa, just as Micheno Multipurpose Cooperative Society (MMCS) operator, Michael Eke, is on the run.
The two Ponzi operators were said to have defrauded innocent investors several millions of Naira, prompting series of petitions against her business to security operatives across the state.
Operatives of the Zonal Police Headquarters arrested Efa at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon at Bakassi axis while trying to leave to country as she had allegedly raked in about a billion Naira, while Micheno’s Michael Eke is currently on the run.
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It was a carnival of sort shortly after her arrest by a Special Anti–Robbery Squad, as ‘investors’ in the ponzi scheme trooped to the zonal police headquarters at Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar, to take a look at her while they demanded for their money.
It was learnt that Mrs. Efa has been on the run for over two months following her inability to meet up with payment on return-on-investment owed hundreds of investors into the scheme.
At the Zone Six command, investors demanded that the matter be transferred to EFCC saying that they do not have confidence in the police.
Confirming the arrest, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPRO), Nelson Ukpabi, said Mrs. Efa was in their custody and investigation was on going.
He said: “I saw a mammoth crowd yesterday evening and I inquired what was going on.
“I was told a lady involved in Swiss Gold Ponzi scheme was just arrested and the people who she did business with were trying to see her. She will be charged to court as soon as possible but investigations are ongoing.”
One of the investors and an aide to Governor Ben Ayade, who did not want her name in prints said, “I am finished. I invested N7 million in this scheme believing it was real. Today, I now know it is total fraud.”
A trader at What, who simply gave her name as Mrs. Nkeruwem Bassey, 47, said, “I collected my N700, 000 Osusu contribution and invested all at Efa’s company hoping to get my return-on-investment and go for December market and then later pay back.”
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Another investor, who pleaded anonymity, said: “We had lodged our petition to the EFCC, over the huge funds we paid into the scheme. My wife and I, for instance mopped about N11.5m from our small businesses and lumped into the scheme.”
Efa’s Swiss Gold marketing outfit is said to be a breakaway from another group and she was initially arrested but the police released her as she promised to pay after soon.
Micheno’s Michael Eke is said to be at large as investors are also on his trail to get their investment back.
Daily Sun checks further revealed that Eke was earlier arrested by the police but a business man who had invested a fortune in the scam, provided surety for him and the police granted him bail.
Since then hundreds of investors have been looking for him at east to recoup their initial capital and ready to forgo the return-on-investment.