Hi guys, its no longer news that the financial establishment, MMM in Zimbabwe has collapsed, going down with millions paid into the scheme by investors. Apparently, human beings are alway too lazy to investigate such financial schemes before getting involved. Here are a few facts about MMM.
Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (AKA MMM) takes its name from its founder, Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi of Russia (He was to Russia, what Jordan Belfort was to the US). He founded MMM in 1989 and the scheme was declared bankrupt three years later leading to the disappearance of Mavrodi until his arrest in 2003.
According to wikipedia, МММ was a Russian company that perpetrated one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes of all time, in the 1990s.By different estimates from 5 to 40 million people lost up to $10 billion. The exact figures are not known even to the founders. The management started to count money in roomfuls (1 roomful of money, 2 roomfuls of money, etc).
It might surprise you to know that as we speak, more and more people are still getting involved in Nigeria. Some are even eager to go for the “training programmes”! When I visited their Nigerian website, I was greeted with a picture of Sergei Mavrodi. Then in the FAQ’s section, I found this;
“… MMM is absolutely legal and does not break any laws. Because there are only money transfers between private persons and nothing more.
MMM is a people community, which help each other for free, and absolutely consciously, they transfer money directly to each other, from one bank account to another, without any conditions, guarantees and promises.”
NO CONDITIONS, NO GUARANTEES AND NO PROMISES!! Call me paranoid but I believe this statement is self explanatory! The company isn’t even “promising” your back and there are no “guarantees” that you would get anything at all from this “unconditional” investment! This is absolutely ridiculous!
In the FAQ’s, I also found this “…MMM is a Global Mutual Aid Fund, World people’s Bank, Financial Social Network — or any definition whatsoever. The point is not in the title. The bottom line is that this is a voluntary informal association…”. The staff and management of MMM Nigeria put this on their website, probably because they couldn’t simply find the right words to explain their crappy scheme.
So what do these guys do with the money paid by their customers? Do they trade? Or do they lend out money to loan seekers at exorbitant rates? what do they do to earn interest for their customers? There is no insurance cover for this company, so how do investors get their money back if the company folds up tomorrow? Oh, I remember, “No Guarantees”! So you have no right to press for your capital if things go south!
My simple advise to anyone out there with plans of being part of this crappy scheme is to take a moment and think twice before making any payments. I always say,” No one gives you free money, you need to earn it one way or another.