No arrests have been made yet in relation to the Up Money pyramid scheme as investigations are continuing.
A MULTILEVEL marketing scheme, Mufhiwa Building and Projects, appears to have replaced the Up Money “grocery stokvel” exposed by the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
NCC acting commissioner Thezi Mabuza said: “No arrests have yet been made in relation to Up Money as investigations are continuing. The directors of Up Money have not been barred nor declared unfit as directors.
“The next step in the process is that the NCC is finalising papers and should file the matter at the National Consumer Tribunal in the coming week or so to declare the conduct of Up Money prohibited.”
A day after the NCC exposed the Up Money “grocery stokvel” as a pyramid scheme, the administrator of the Up Money Club Facebook page changed its name to MLM and began promoting “the amazing Mufhiwa Building Project for only R200”.
The new Facebook page already has 7 466 members and has promoters and members in Botswana and Namibia as well as South Africa.
According to a video interview on the samuonline.com platform, where people who want to join get directed to the Mufhiwa Building Project, it was founded by a South African woman, Tshifhiwa Ngcai.
In a promotional video, Ngcai said: “There are five stages that one has to go through to get their home built or be it buying land or doing renovations to your home, or it can be that you want to add to your property portfolio.
“You will get the incentives from the company when your six direct recruits join you at whichever of the five stages there are in the scheme.
“At the second stage you will also get a vegetable, meat and grocery hamper. At this stage you help your stage one people to move to stage two. Very important to note is that you need to have your six direct people you sponsored to be with you in stage two and the other ones will be from your tree.”
The modus operandi of Up Money was to use social media to solicit members of the public to participate in the scheme.
In order to receive the promised meat and/or grocery packs, participants were required to pay a one-off joining fee of R180 and to recruit five new participants.
As is typical of all pyramid schemes, new participants made up the base of the pyramid and provided funding for participants who were recruited prior to them and who occupy higher positions on the pyramid.