Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, a Ponzi scheme known simply as MMM, on Friday opened for business after one month of break, but investors in the scheme have remained stranded as they still cannot access their funds.
MMM had announced the resumption on its Twitter handle, saying it was “now open” even though it had initially promised to reopen today, Saturday, January 14.
In the message, the scheme’s founder, Sergey Mavrodi, said because of the likely deluge of requests from participants, payments would be gradual and have limits.
He also said it would prioritise payments to participants with small amounts, which were not specified, and that big investors would have to wait longer.
“Please, be prepared to wait for a couple of days. We are certain things will then calm down, and the system operation will return to normal.
“We’re the ones setting limits, so it’s completely under our control, and we are not expecting any emergencies in principle. Have no fear and go on about your business as usual.
“As the system is socially oriented, we will make paybacks to the poor and the economically disadvantaged in the first place; it means to the members with small PH (Provide Help) amounts. The richer can wait. Moreover, we’ve warned you repeatedly to only provide help with amounts that are not critical for you.”
With about three million Nigerians involved in the scheme and huge investments at stake, the freezing of the MMM’s accounts a month ago had sparked fears that the ponzi scheme had crashed.
Meanwhile, some investors have expressed their frustrations as they might have to wait much longer to recover their much needed money from the scheme.
Some of the participants told Saturday PUNCH that their funds that were tied down in MMM were meant for various uses including purchase of goods, payment of tuition, debts, rent and others.
The fears and frustrations are further heightened by MMM’s declaration that it would introduce bitcoins as the new mode of payment ahead of its comeback, which some participants of the scheme have described as confusing.