The disaster that is the Nigerian MLM underbelly scene continues, with news today MMM Nigeria has suspended withdrawals.

Yes, you’re reading that right. The same week Sergey Mavrodi purportedly goaded the Nigerian government about an MMM Nigeria collapse, it appears MMM Nigeria has… well, collapsed.

Earlier this week in an open letter purportedly penned by Mavrodi, he directly addressed warnings by the Nigerian government about MMM Nigeria collapsing.

As for your statement that “everything will collapse soon”.

The system has been working in Nigeria for a year, and according to your estimates, the total number of members now is about 3 million people. In Nigeria the population is approximately 195 million. Can you calculate? Will it be “soon”? :-))

Turns out “soon” was inside of a week, with MMM Nigeria affiliates unable to withdraw funds effective immediately.

Rather than acknowledge the Ponzi scheme has collapsed, an announcement to MMM Nigeria affiliates blames media coverage for the decision;

One-Month Freezing of Confirmed Mavros

Dear members! As usual, in the New Year season the System is experiencing heavy workload. Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media.

It is typical of Ponzi schemes to explode around the holiday season. Existing investor withdrawal request increase while new investment drops off.

The things are still going well; the participants feel calm; everyone gets paid – as you can see, there haven’t been any payment delays or other problems yet – but!.. it is better to avoid taking risk.:-))

Moreover, there are almost three weeks left to the New Year.

Hence, on the basis of the above mentioned, from now on all confirmed Mavro will be frozen for a month.

The move is similar to what happened with MMM Zimbabwe.

In an effort to stave off the inevitable collapse, MMM Zimbabwe froze affiliate withdrawals in August.

In September the scheme reopened, however affiliate withdrawal requests were slashed by 80% (20 cents on every dollar in a withdraw request was honored).

This lasted about three weeks, before the scheme collapsed altogether. Losses in Zimbabwe are estimated to be in the thousands.

If MMM Nigeria reopens in January, the same fate as MMM Zimbabwe before it awaits (and MMM South Africa before that).

Ponzi schemes need new funds to pay off existing investors, and nothing kills off new investment faster than announcing to the world you’ve run out of money.

Mavrodi claims there are some three million investors in MMM Nigeria. What effect their cumulative losses might have on the already failing Nigerian economy remains to be seen.