Rwanda announces TelexFree Ponzi investigation
Over the past month or so Steve Labriola, TelexFree’s International Marketing Director, has been flying around the world seeking to strengthen the company’s efforts to attract new affiliate investors.
The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Spain are just some of the countries Labriola has visited recently, and as he continues his affiliate investor recruitment-drive globally, his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
TelexFree are already under investigation in the US, South America, Europe and now with Rwanda confirming that they too are investigating TelexFree, Africa can now be added to the list.
Emmanuel Bayingana, the official in charge of Competition at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, confirmed that TelexFREE was being investigated.
“We are doing an assessment of the operations of TelexFREE,” Mr Bayingana said. “The investigations will determine the way forward. The assessment will be concluded next week.”
He noted that the ministry, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the central bank will come up with a position, especially if the business is found to be risk-prone.
Not surprisingly, it is the AdCentral investment scheme within TelexFree that has attracted their attention.
TelexFREE, an Internet-based service, requires new members to pay more than $1,570 (Rwf1,067,600) and post three advertisement links to start earning $100 (Rwf68,045.26) weekly. By recruiting new members, one stands to earn bonuses, it claims.
For those familiar with the scheme, you’ll recognise the above as investment into an “AdCentral Family” position (five regular positions), on the promise of a $100 weekly ROI ($20 per position).
The East African article continues, offering up some insight into how TelexFree is being marketed in Rwanda,
At the TelexFREE offices in the Kigali suburb of Remera near the taxi park in a new complex that also houses Bank of Kigali, a few office staff members lurk around trying to win more clients.
“It’s a profitable business. You can join and make $100 a week. I make the same every week by just posting three links,” one of the staff members only identified as Hakim said in an attempt to convince the writer to join the scheme.
“People are making money,” Mr Ndoli said. “I earn $100 a week after investing in it. I post links from a computer or using my phone. It takes only five minutes.”
Mr Ndoli said he only joined two months ago but was confident he would recoup his investment and make even more money soon. He insisted that those crying foul failed to fulfil their part of the agreement.
“I think they failed to post links,” he said. “You make money by posting links. If you don’t post links, you don’t make money.”
Right… because “posting links” generates revenue which is then paid out at a guaranteed rate of $20 a week per position invested in. Ponzi logic explode!
Next week is shaping up to be quite a busy one for TelexFree officials, who are currently partying in Madrid, Spain at a company event. In addition to Rwanda’s assessment to be concluded next week, following the confirmation of an investigation, the US state of Massachusetts has subpoenaed officials within TelexFree to appear before the Securities Division this Wednesday.
Meanwhile over in Europe, following the publication of a “scam warning” by the States of Jersey Police Department, Detective Sergent Andrew Smith told Brazilian media that
An event to promote TelexFree in the Island of Jersey was canceled as soon as the local police began to inquire about the company’s activities.
“When they learned that we knew, they canceled the meeting,” said Andrew Smith, Detective Sergeant of Police of Jersey. “We know that this is a fraud, a scam.”
iG attempted to contact TelexFree lawyers for comment, however once reached they “declined to comment on the situation”.
Update 18th March 2014 – Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero, has confirmed that Rwanda has concluded their TelexFree investigation and banned it for being a pyramid scheme.