Kenya: Foreign exchange and other fraudulent activities
Online currency trading is a growing business in Kenya and gullible men and women lose money every minute through dodgy trading companies.
I received an invitation from a friend to invest in a business that promises very high returns. After three months I should already have earned 20% of my investment. I decided to think about it. Of course, I checked the Interweb company to see if there was a permanent address. Maybe I had questions and just wanted to visit them. Which I did then.
So I was led to the View Park towers along Mombasa Road in Nairobi, where I paid a visit to the company’s offices. A whole wing for a company without logo, without name tags. Nobody gets lost here on their own. That only works on recommendation or research.
When I came in, I was shocked. Female employees sitting at empty desks staring at a smartphone and some contract documents for potential customers. It was creepy.
The lady in charge of me told me that the system was as simple as the ABC. She led me through an incredibly long five-minute workout with diagrams from which I could hardly draw any meaning.
I didn’t have to do much to get involved. Interweb’s requirement is a minimum deposit of Ksh. 10.000 (100 Euro) and a maximum of Ksh. 100.000 (1000 Euro) and guaranteed 20% every month. But to get it paid out, the investor has to pay three times the amount, otherwise you have to wait a year. But it got even better. Whenever I recruit someone, as an investor I get 5% commission from their deposit. A clear pyramid game. It was unlikely that this company would invest money in the financial markets.
In Kenya, the foreign exchange business is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority. Here forex traders are obliged to hold a minimum of Ksh.30.000.000.000 (300.000 Euro) and a maximum of Ksh.50.000.000.000 (500.000 Euro). Asset managers are obliged to have a minimum paid-up capital of Ksh.10.000.000.000 (100.000 Euro). This will probably not be the case with Interweb.
People who fall for the promises will tend to go away empty-handed.