Public warned against unlicensed investments


Bank of Botswana (BoB), the Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA), and law enforcement agencies have revealed that they are investigating reports of suspected pyramid and ponzi schemes, or similar investment vehicles, operating in Botswana, allegedly involved in unfair and fraudulent trading practices.

A press statement from BoB and CCA advises the public that a company named Ecoplexus Solar Equipment (Pty) Ltd (Ecoplexus) is not licensed or authorised by either the Bank of Botswana or Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) to undertake the business of either banking or provision of financial services in Botswana. “It is, therefore, illegal for any person to solicit and/or accept deposits from members of the public disguising or masquerading as an investment scheme. Pyramid schemes and other illegal deposit-taking activities (such as ponzi schemes or fraudulent investment vehicles) are unlawful in Botswana as the nature of these operations contravenes Section 3(1) of the Banking Act (Cap. 46:04) and Section 9 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act No. 5 of 2018,”further reads the press statement.

The statement also highlights that the Banking Act, in particular, restricts transacting banking business and/or advertising for or soliciting deposits of money solely to licensed banks. “It is also a criminal offence, punishable by law, for any person to undertake or promote the aforementioned activities in Botswana, as that constitutes unfair trading practice. Section 5(1) of the Banking Act empowers the Bank to investigate a person or entity suspected to be conducting unlicensed banking business and/or illegal deposittaking activities.

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