The Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) has opened a case against Ecoplexus with the Botswana Police’s Serious Crime Squad, after noting “dominant criminal elements” in the investment scheme.
The Authority’s spokesperson, Gladys Ramadi, told Mmegi that the latest developments followed a preliminary investigation into the collapsed investment scheme.
“It should be noted that the Authority can only investigate the civil part of the scheme while Botswana Police Service will investigate the criminal elements of the scheme,” she said in an emailed response to questions this afternoon. “During the Authority’s preliminary investigations, it was observed that there are criminal elements dominating in the scheme. “The Authority has therefore registered a case with Serious Crime Squad for criminal investigations.”
Ramadi said investigations are ongoing and at an early stage, adding that more information would be shared as soon as the probe is concluded. She confirmed that the Authority had been receiving complaints against Ecoplexus “from across the country”.
“The public should be warned that practicing, participating and promoting any pyramid and related schemes is an offence under the Consumer Protection Act,” she said.
Ecoplexus promised its members triple-digit returns in exchange for their investments into what it claimed were renewable energy projects across Africa. Members were encouraged to keep upgrading the level of their membership in the scheme by adding more money and also recruiting new members.
However, earlier this month, the scheme ran into trouble as investors began questioning its legitimacy and demanding their investments back. Ecoplexus scheme-runners suspended payouts and have since given members numerous excuses, including the allegations that funds are frozen at First National Bank Botswana.
On Tuesday, the local bank denied the allegations, instead advising the public to “exercise caution when they are approached to deposit money into any FNB accounts under the pretext that they are owned by Ecoplexus”.