Nigerian Investor commits suicide after being duped by investment company that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme

Nigerian-based investment company The Map NG turned out to be yet another Ponzi scheme leaving unsuspecting investors in confusion, according to reports.

News of the Ponzi scheme went viral after an investor, Stephen (surname withheld) reportedly committed suicide after investing millions of nairas in the company, resources he borrowed from a Nigerian bank. The deceased victim was one out of more than 2,000 victims of the so-called investment company, according to This Day.

Enokela Monday, a 100 level student of Air Force Institution of Technology, Kaduna state, revealed that he also fell victim of the scheme and attempted to commit suicide. He reportedly drank a poisonous substance and was on the verge of death until his girlfriend discovered him and gave him palm oil to weaken the effects of the poison.

"In my frustration, I drank some quantity of poisonous liquid substance, but for the help of my girlfriend who was around I would have been a forgotten issue. She gave me enough palm oil that revived me," Monday said.

Monday said he invested 1.5 million naira, which was supposed to be the total of his school fees, house rent, family upkeep, and loan he collected from his friend. He added that the business was introduced to him by his brother who came visiting from Dubai, and was opportune to follow the brother to pay for the investment in Ikeja, Lagos state.

"I begged him to add some money for me so that I could also pay for the CRMI promotion investment," Monday said. "He obliged. I invested all the money given to me into the company in addition to a loan from my best friend in the Nigerian Defense Academy. The total amount I paid into the company's UBA account was 1.5 million naira."

Other victims of The Map NG reportedly invested hundreds of thousands and millions of nairas. The company had promised to pay all investors mouthwatering returns on their investments as seen in the advertisements publicized by the company on media platforms including radio, podcast, and social media. Its investment offerings included: logistics/bike investment, Customer Relationship Management Investment (CRMI), Educational Virtual Reality for Students Investment, real estate, and other independent investments. The company promised to pay investors between 60 - 100 percent return on investment (ROI). 

Some investors suspected that the offer was too good to be true but had their doubts cleared after they visited the company's offices in Lekki and Ikeja regions of Lagos, as well as an office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. This made them believe that they were investing in a proper company. Fresh suspicions arose when some investors said that the company started giving excuses on the payment of the promised ROI.

When it finally dawned on the investors that they had been scammed, three of them attempted suicide, but only one of them died. Some of the aggrieved investors alerted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other government parastatals.

The EFCC arrested the founder of The Map NG, Ayannso Mma, and detained him at its Okoye-Eboh Office, Ikoyi for about a mo the and released him on December 22,2020. Before he was released Mma assured investors that he would sell some of his purchased assets he obtained with investors' monies to pay back investors. But has failed to meet up with his promise. The case is still ongoing with the EFCC.

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