Sunday 2024-07-21




By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2020-01-23

EMASWATI who had invested their money with a South African based Forex Trading firm have been left with nothing after the agents who took their investments ‘vanished’ with over E1 million.

The trading firm is originally from South Africa but has branches in Eswatini and other African countries.

The firm, according to its profile, has grown into a multi-million rand entity, which is now Africa’s largest forex broker. In the country, the company has offices in the bustling city of Mbabane.

Agents, who are Emaswati, have been going around recruiting people to join the online trading scheme.

Many Emaswati were tempted into joining after they were promised that they would be millionaires in no time.  New recruits were enrolled into online trading classes after making deposits. The members of the public who joined included mostly civil servants, pensioners and those in the private sector.

Some of those who joined claimed they made deposits of E50 000 while others claimed to have parted with over E100 000. Some of those who were recruited alleged that they used all their pension money and joined with the hope of getting more rewards.

Those who joined the scheme are reported to be over 50 and the money collected by the agents on behalf of the company is reported to be over E1 million.

The aggrieved parties claimed that everything had been going well until recently when the agent who is in charge of the accounts in Eswatini Musa* (not his real name since he has not been formally charged) started avoiding them.   The traders claimed that the officer in charge and the agent who had been recruiting them were he no longer taking their calls.

However, when called by another number, Musa is alleged to have answered the phone and offered excuses.

The concerned parties said they visited the company’s offices  countless times but they always found that Musa was nowhere to be found.

They said the last time they saw Musa was when they went to deposit their money.

The traders who have been left in the dark on what is happening have since approached the police service for help.

Some indicated that it is not the company at fault but the agents who are representing the firm in Eswatini. They said this is because in South Africa this forex trading firm is doing quite well.

One of the concerned parties who preferred anonymity said he believes that Musa became greedy after seeing all the money that was in his possession. The trader said he met one of the agents who recruited him and when he asked what is happening with the company, he was told that it is Musa who is responsible for finances is nowhere to be found.

When this publication got hold of Musa yesterday, he declined to comment over the phone saying everything he did is on record which he can present on request.

Some of the traders who claim to have been conned of their money  opened a case with the police.

On Tuesday there was another group which stormed the police headquarters in Mbabane to report the issue with the Fraud Department. Their concern is that it has been quite some time now. Fears are that the agents might decide to flee the country before police take action.  Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed that police were investigating the matter.

She said two cases had already been reported with the police. The police mouthpiece said no arrests have been made yet.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, on the other hand, has stated that they did not have the company dealing in Forex Trading under their list of companies which are licensed to carry out such activities. It has been gathered that in South Africa the company is fully registered.

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