Rwandan TelexFree affiliates mull legal action
In contrast to US TelexFree affiliate leaders busying themselves censoring social media groups of factual information and demanding artificial positivism from those who invested under them, Rwandan Telexfree affiliate leaders are considering legal action against the company.
The news comes as yesterday Rwandan affiliates called on their government to intervene and recover losses incurred by Rwandan TelexFree affiliate investors. Estimates peg the total amount at stake is 44 billion RWF, or $65 million USD.
Unfortunately, as in every country TelexFree operated in outside of the US and Brazil, the company has no assets for the Rwandan government to seize.
When contacted, Emmanuel Hategeka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said it was difficult for government to intervene.
“If the company had assets in the country it would be easy for us to seize the assets and compensate the members but now I don’t think they had assets here. What we can do is only to look into the contractual framework between the company and members and advise accordingly,” he said.
TelexFree’s global operations sucked money out of some of the poorest nations on Earth, dumping the funds into the pockets of its top US and Brazilian based affiliate leaders.
Upon previously trying to trace funds leaving Rwanda, officials reported that they had tracked at least $10.2 million USD that had been transferred out of Rwanda and laundered through TelexFree bank accounts in Germany and the US.
Subsequently Rwanda moved to ban the scheme, with Rwandan regulators accusing TelexFree of ‘laundering money, evading taxes and exploiting Rwandans to the benefit of its foreign owners‘.
In light of the advice given to them by the government, Rwandan affiliates are now exploring other options. The New Times reports,
Furious (TelexFree) members had earlier appealed for government’s intervention after the US based company filed for bankruptcy under the US Bankruptcy Code, to address certain operational challenges.
The Bankruptcy Code prohibits creditors from taking certain actions related to debts prior to the commencement of the Bankruptcy Cases.
Some members who spoke to this paper yesterday said local and foreign lawyers are being lined up for a legal battle.
“We want our money back. Our local and foreign lawyers will advise us accordingly,” James Gihana, a Rwandan investor and former member of TelexFree said.
Jean Nepomuscene Mugengangabo, a commercial lawyer at Bona Fide Law Chambers Advocate in Kigali, said it was possible for the members of the former TelexFree to sue the company by either going through the US embassy or travelling to US to file a petition there.
“It is possible to get back their money as long as they are sure about the mother company in US,” he said.
He also said that the victims had an option of suing the company in Rwanda and then transfer the case to US courts later.
I’m not too sure on the accuracy of Mugengangabo’s suggestions, but the reaction from TelexFree’s international affiliates is certainly interesting to follow.
Without divulging details, Gihana said the decision was reached with other members from various countries.
It would appear that affiliates in other countries are also gearing up to launch action against TelexFree.
Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, US-based TelexFree affiliates remain hopeful that the company will restart business operations and continue to pay them a passive weekly ROI.
In the TelexFree social media groups I’m tracking, I’ve seen dozens of instances of factual information and concerns raised by TelexFree affiliates censored over the last few days.
I’ve also seen instances of moderators of these groups threatening TelexFree affiliates with a ban and communication cutoff if they dare to post anything negative against the company. This includes the sharing of news reports, resulting in an effective information blackout in many such groups.
All that remains are posts from disillusioned affiliates promising a prompt restart of TelexFree’s business operations, claims the company was swimming in money and can pay everyone their initial investment back, religious sermons calling on God to intervene and the shouting down of anyone who dares to suggest TelexFree affiliates who lost money have been scammed.