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Major pyramid scheme exposed

Jul 30 2012 09:02

Cape Town - In a crackdown on one of SA's biggest ponzi schemes, the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) swooped on key players in a pyramid scheme that has netted R265m, The Mercury reported.

Sarb seized the documents and assets of Travel Ventures International (TVI), which it deemed unlawful in 2011.

The Reserve Bank has appointed an attorney to investigate the multilevel marketing venture, which is allegedly operating as a bank, the report said.

The pyramid scheme is estimated to have more than 100 promoters and 1 million "investors" taking part at any given time.

It is alleged that millions of rands are being channelled through the venture's bank accounts in transfers of about R2 700. The report said total credits received in bank accounts of local distributors stood at R265m.

Investigations revealed that one of the alleged distributors was wealthy Musgrave businesswoman Nonhlanhla Doris Hadebe, who was fighting to get back her luxury cars which included an Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz as well as expensive furniture that had been seized in March.

Investigators were still trying to collate a database of all distributors and investors, the report said.

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sarb  |  corruption  |  fraud  |  ponzi scheme

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