A suspected Ponzi scheme operating in Guyana is said to have affected some 17,000 Guyanese.
According to on-line reports, Guyana Securities Council (GSC) has written to President, Dr Irfaan Ali; Vice- President -Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and Police Commissioner (ag), Nigel Hoppie, informing them of the scheme.
The Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall said a number of Guyanese citizens have enrolled in the Ponzi scheme where Accelerated Capital Firm Inc (ACFI) claims that it uses a foreign exchange platform to trade and it seems that all aspects of the scheme operate online via training webinars, WhatsApp and e-mail.
The Legal Affairs Minister noted that the operation is unlicensed, unregulated and in violation of several pieces of legislation.
“I advise that we immediately issue a public statement so informing the public, requesting that they demand their monies back and assuring them that our Government will try to assist in this regard. In the statement, I will highlight the fact that the Guyana Securities Council informed the previous administration of this illegal operation a long time ago without any avail.”
The GSC provided the attorney-general with letters that were sent in October, 2019, to Mr Winston Felix, former Minister of Citizenship, Ministry of the Presidency, and Khemraj Ramjattan, former Minister of Public Security informing them of a suspected illegal investment (pyramid scheme).
The scheme is allegedly operated by Yuri Garcia Dominguez and Ateeka Ishmael.
Mr. Yuri Garcia Dominguez, who is a Cuban had applied to the Minister of Citizenship for naturalisation in Guyana and the publications were seen in the newspapers giving notice.
According to reports, a number of persons have indicated that they have received no payments from ACFI and attempts made to contact Mr Yuri Garcia Dominguez have proven futile.
There are also reports that Demerara Bank Limited allegedly terminated the accounts of Ms Ateeka Ishmael and Yuri Garcia Dominguez, and refused their request to open a corporate account as a result of their due diligence and the public notice by GSC in the print media.
The GSC had also issued Public Notices in October 2019 and January 2020, notifying the public that Accelerated Capital Firm (formerly ‘Accelerated Wealth Inc.’) is not licensed by the GSC to conduct securities business in Guyana or to solicit investments from the public.
The Accelerated Capital Firm Inc (ACF) in its agreement establishes what is popularly referred to as a Pyramid or Ponzi Scheme. The agreement states that the company operates on the foreign exchange market (FOREX, stocks, commodities, equities, ETFS) with funds deposited thereon by the investor who will receive the profits as indicated by ACF.