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Three Congolese refugees in court for botched ponzi scheme in Chipinge

By Fitzgerald Munyoro | Nehanda Courts |

CHIPINGE – Three Congolese refugees stationed at Tongogara Refugee Camp appeared before the Chipinge Magistrates Court facing charges of duping other campers US$910 after a ponzi scheme they were running collapsed.

Tongogara Refugee Camp
Tongogara Refugee Camp

The three, Nibaruta Antony (37), Ndayiregije Tryphine (34) and Ettiene Nduwimana (28) appeared before Chipinge magistrate Alfred Chinembiri facing fraud charges.

They plead not guilty to the charges and were remanded in custody to a later date for trial.

Prosecutor Edmore Mahlanhanise told the court that sometime in July 2021, Matabishe Nene (30) a Democratic Republic of Congo national residing at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge met Ettiene Nduwimana who told him of a pyramid scheme called Crowd One which was being operated online.

“Nduwimana convinced Nene that the scheme was capable of paying some good dividends if he invests his money. Nene got interested in the scheme and was taken by Nibaruta and Tryphine Ndayirayigije,” the prosecutor told the court.

The court heard that the three suspects explained to Nene that if he invests his money in the scheme, he will receive a weekly bonus of five Euros.

The suspects also explained that after three months, he could withdraw all his money if he wishes to do so.

Nene reportedly handed over his USD$360 to Tryphine Ndayiragije as his joining fee.

The court was further told that Nene was told by the suspects that he was going to receive a bonus known as “fear of loss bonus” if he can make other four members join under his name.

Nene got interested and looked for his friends whom he joined under his name. He paid USD$130 for each of his friends.

Nene was then given USD$130 as a “fear of loss bonus”. After making payments, Nene was shown a Crowd One website where he was supposed to check his weekly bonuses.

Nene tried to withdraw his money after the given time but failed. He approached the suspects demanding his dues but was told to wait.

After three months nothing materialized and he realized he had been duped.

He reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the suspects and their subsequence appearance in court. Nehanda Radio