Suspected mastermind of crypto-currency scam held

Rwanda Investigation Bureau has arrested a man it says is behind a suspected crypto-currency scam that operates under the name, Supermarketings Global Ltd. 

RIB confirmed the arrest via its Twitter handle Friday. 

The arrest came a day after the central bank released a statement cautioning the public against putting their money into what it called investment scams. 

According to Rwanda Development Board’s Office of the Registrar General database, Supermarketings Global is not authorised to be involved in crypto-currency.

It says the firm is instead registered as a player in educational support activities.

The company was registered in April under two Rwandan owners, both male.

Saturday Timesunderstands that it is one of the two men who have since been arrested.

“The common factor of these schemes is a promise to make a participant rich in a short time and with minimum effort,” the Rwanda National Bank said in its statement on Thursday. 

The central bank said such scams take the forms of pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing and crypto-currency issuerer.

In Rwanda, these services are not legally recognised.

Other firms cited in such operations include 3 Friends System Group, One Coin, and Kwakoo.

The extent to which members of the public have fallen prey to such scams remains unclear. But social media reactions to BNR statement suggested that there was a large number of people who thought such undertakings were legitimate.    

Among the tactics used by the firms to deceive the public include requiring new members (recruits) to pay a fixed amount of money to the scheme’s promoters often guised as a membership fee with the promise to receive a portion of new entrants’ fees. 

Other schemes pose as product or service oriented businesses and often have mandatory purchase of goods such as medicine or services like travel or digital coins. 

Rwandans who subscribe to such platforms were advised that they would be doing so at their own risk and stand to lose their money.

In recent years, pyramid schemes have taken multiple shapes and forms often guising as legitimate businesses.