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Popular money-doubling scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox, better known as MMM, has placed a one-month ban on all withdrawals starting from December 13.
The development, which occurred a day after the Founder, Sergey Mavrod, said MMM had done a lot to improve the welfare of Nigerians, sparked fears among many Nigerians that the Ponzi scheme had crashed.
A letter displayed on the page of participants of the scheme cited “heavy workload on system” as the reason for the ban.
With the ban on the accounts, members of the scheme who are due to withdraw both their capital and 30 per cent return on investment will not be able to do so until January 2017.
The letter, entitled, ‘One-month freezing of confirmed Mavros,’ said, “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 authorities in the mass media.
“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 just three weeks left to the New Year.
“On the basis of the above mentioned therefore, all confirmed Mavros will be frozen for a month. The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year and then, when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled, which we will definitely do. We hope for your understanding, Administration.”
Few hours before the accounts were frozen, the promoters of the scheme had warned Nigerians not to be “unnecessarily greedy.”
MMM Nigeria said on its Twitter page on Monday, “MMM has always advised that you use your #SpareMoney only. Don’t be unnecessarily greedy.”
In an open letter, MMM founder had on Monday urged the government to look at the benefits of the scheme to over three million Nigerians in one year of its existence in the country, especially, where the scheme is the only source of livelihood for some Nigerians.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians on social media have expressed panic over the social financial scheme, saying MMM might not continue in January as promised by the administrator.
“Take it or leave it, if you are into #MMM,take your heart and mind off it, don’t hope for January, it will only get worse and leave you more miserable,” one Victor Oluwafemi wrote on his tweeter account.
Omo Baba Mopol also tweeted on the confusion that the suspension of the scheme had generated, saying, “(I) just called the police to monitor one of my friends. He has been playing with rope since morning I don’t really know his intention.”
“I was drinking yoghurt when someone called me to say that MMM Nigeria has been frozen. O’boy, the yoghurt started testing like Alomo,” Mystical Tulips tweeted.
A commentator on nairaland identified as Mr. Mcj, said the panic trailing the freezing could intensify.
He said, “In two weeks’ time, you will read this your post and be shaking your head like a lizard learning new dance. In three weeks, you won’t be able to sleep. In four weeks, you will be swearing for Mavrodi in fluent Russian language.”
Another commentator, Phoneport, also wrote on nairaland, “Well for me, I wish all MMM Nigerians participants well and that the current freezing issue will be resolved come January if not, a lot of people will become hopeless and the hardship will increase for them.
“My fear for them remains that, if they defreeze the accounts in January, the massive panic will prompt a lot of people to opt out of the system and in that case who will pay who, when new people no longer join?”
A social media user, Wins18, said the development could result in people committing suicide.
He wrote, “I hope this will not cause mass suicide later. I think it is high time we started giving some people couselling because of the kind of havoc it will wreak when it finally crashes.”
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