Nigerians who invested in Imagine Global Solutions Ltd have been left stranded as a couple running the firm has reportedly fled Nigeria with funds invested by thousands of customers.
The pair, Bamise and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, reportedly went into hiding after squandering investors’ money said to be as much as N22 billion, according to social media accounts of investors.
Imagine Global Solutions Ltd claimed to be running a micro-lending service to small and medium businesses, offering 22 percent as interest on loans received and 10 percent returns to investors.
Several victims on social media detailed how they lost between low five figures to as high as N500 million. A WhatsApp group has been created for those affected by the fraudulent scheme to pony resources towards recovering their investments. A Nairaland forum was also created by the investors.
The company’s listed address in Ajah, Lagos, has been locked.
It was also gathered that a telephone number for the couple also failed to connect on Monday.
A spokesman for Zuriel Consulting Limited, Imagine Global’s legal adviser, said the law firm could not comment on investors’ funds and the disappearance of the couple.
Zuriel Consulting said on Monday:
We have been hearing that the couple had fled Nigeria with investors’ funds. But we have no comments to make about the controversy at this point.
The firm also said it would not confirm or debunk claims that the amount squandered was up to N22 billion.
Imagine Lenders is only the latest scheme to be exposed as another ponzi business designed to fleece Nigerians. This is coming after fraudulent investment schemes such as Insha Allahu and the disappearance of Gloria Osei and Muyiwa Folorunsho, another couple declared wanted by Interpol for their involvement in multimillion-dollar investment.
Ms Osei and Mr Folorunsho have since obtained Commonwealth of Dominica passports, indicating that they might not return to Nigeria any time soon. It was unclear the progress of the manhunt launched for the couple by Interpol.
Last year, a scheme called MBA Forex, which promised its investors 15 percent monthly returns, crashed in November, leaving over 100,000 investors stranded.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) froze the bank accounts linked to MBA, saying that the company was owned by Maxwell Odum, who had collected over N171 billion from its investors before crashing.
The Central Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the EFCC have sent out several warnings to potential capital market investors cautioning against putting their funds in fraudulent investment schemes.
Imagine Global, which was registered in 2017, stated on its website that it has a customer base of 90,000 Nigerians, but it was unclear how many of them were able to recoup their investments before the Ajetunmobis disappeared. The couple reportedly fled to London, where a branch of Imagine Global was incorporated in August 2019.