Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the public’s help in locating Omotade Sparks Amos Sewanu, the mastermind behind the Inksnation crypto scam. According to a notice published in the local media on November 11, the EFCC wants Sewanu to respond to fraud charges relating to Inksnation’s purported crypto token- Pinkoin.
The Inksnation scam, which gained popularity just before the start of lockdown restrictions, has duped many Nigerians with its promise of a lifetime income. Interested investors are asked to choose from five different investment packages. Each package promises a different monthly salary.
However, according to information on Inksnation website, all salary payments are in the form of the Pinkoin crypto token. Furthermore, the token is not listed on any crypto exchange in Nigeria therefore raising questions about its liquidation.
Despite this, the Inksnation masterminds continue to post testimonials on social media of some Pinkoin investors who claim that they are getting the monthly salaries as promised. The use of testimonials is a common tactic used by many Ponzi schemes. They are intended to blunt scam allegations and to hoodwink fence-sitting potential investors.
However, in its public notice, the EFCC specifically states that Sewanu is facing charges of “obtaining by false pretences, name dropping as well as fraud,” an amount of $84,200 (or 32 million Naira). According to the notice, Sewanu received the money in question after “floating the online digital currency.”
By raising fraud charges against Sewanu, Nigerian authorities appear to be escalating the fight against the defiant Inksnation team. This follows the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission’s (NSEC) public notice that labelled Inksnation an illegal operation. Similarly, the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) issued its own notice which labelled Pinkoin a scam.
Both warnings did not stop the Inksnation team from continuing to solicit for funds from unsuspecting Nigerians. However, the EFCC notice raises the stakes as Sewanu and his accomplices face possible criminal indictment.
Interestingly, some two days after the EFCC published the notice that features Sewanu’s photo, the Inksnation team issued an apology and urged calm after one of its websites went down. In a tweet, in which the organisation is eager to assuage followers, the Inksnation team says:
Be informed!!! If you are experiencing difficulty logging in to your account or any other thing. Do not worry, do not panic and do not start raising alarm. Before informed that website maintenance is ongoing, keep calm.
Still, in another tweet, the Inksnation ring leaders appear unfazed and continue to invite more people to register.
It should be noted that claims of a computer error or systems upgrade normally precede the collapse of Ponzi scams. Just recently, the masterminds of a Spanish scam froze accounts of tens of thousands of investors after a computer error caused heavy financial losses.
Smaller scams also use the excuse of a systems upgrade to keep investors at bay while they make their escape. News.Bitcoin.com is following the events at Inksnation and will provide updates on new developments as they unfold.
Do you think the public notice by EFCC will stop Inksnation from continuing to solicit for money? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.