NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
BATSWANA LEFT BROKE AS FOREIGN INVESTOR DISSAPEARS WITH MONEY
Just when they thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse than Covid -19 roller coaster, it did for many who found out this week that they have lost money in a Forex scam.
This week many unsuspecting Batswana found out that their year was ending on a sad and broke note when they realized that a Ugandan Forex investor had run away with thousands of their Pulas.
Scores of people, especially in the North West District were this week struggling to come to terms with the reality that they have been taken for a free ride by a forex trading company called EFG network Investments Proprietary Limited ahead of Christmas.
Some residents of Maun, Letlhakane, Orapa, Shakawe, Sehitwa and other parts of the country came out to talk about how they invested into the Forex scheme hoping for a profit only to lose their money after the administrator of the group that started on WhatsAp, a Ugandan by the names Charles Lwanga disappeared with the loot.
“I personally invested P6000 and was expecting a return of at least P16 200. That money was to be paid out over a period of a few months and I only received P3 900 in the first two months,” explained Kutlwano Atamelang of Letlhakane.
Atamelang is one of the lucky ones who received some of their cash back.
Some shocked investors have reportedly been fainting in and around Maun because they took big risks and lost big.
One such investor, who preferred anonymity since he argued that he had reported the matter to the police, explained that an unsuspecting friend introduced him to the “scam”.
“We honestly thought it was genuine because for the first two or so months some people were getting paid, though it wasn’t significant amounts,” explained the man who is based in Shakawe.
According to the complainants, the company started after lock down, and many people started investing in it around September.
“We only started suspecting foul play when people started complaining that they have not received payments during the first week of December. Some of us had just invested and we started asking questions,” said the source who invested P60 000 and his wife P40 000 and lost all of it.
Their fears worsened when a WhatsApp message was shared on the group about Lwanga’s alleged death at the hands of robbers in South Africa.
“Did you know this man? Did you know that he was robbed and killed in South Africa a few days back by unknown gun men, and we suspect some of you people in the EFG group were behind it,” reads the message, which send investors hopes for a merry Christmas crashing down.
As angry group members’ demand for Lwanga ‘s body to be shown as proof of his death was met with silence after he exited the group, reality began to sink in that they have been scammed.
Although Lwanga is said to be the owner of EFG, the company registration documents do not have his names, but rather those of a Motswana lady, called Kemmonye Ngara of Disana ward in Maun.
Asked to explain the drama around their company, Ngara equally claimed to have been scammed to register the company under her name.
“I met Lwanga in church. We went to the same church and he told me he wanted to open a company. He however said I should put only my names as a director because as the company grows, he would do a lot of travelling and therefore I would need to do all the signing and running the office,” explained Ngara.
The woman further stated that she had only started investing as well when Lwanga disappeared, “We registered the company last month, little did I know he was planning to disappear with people’s money, leaving me to field questions I have no answers to.”
Maun Police station commander, Chenamo Orateng said the matter had not yet reached his office.