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A Short Story of MMM
Many Nigerians still remember the Ponzi scheme that effortlessly lifted more than ₦18 billion out of the Nigerian economy before its activities in Nigeria was suspended in 2016. More than 3 million Nigerians were defrauded.
Unfortunately, people who lost money in the scheme will remember MMM in sadness.
Why is the name MMM?
The name MMM is derived from the first letter of the surnames ( Mavrodi and Melnikova) of the 3 Russian con men who founded the dubious money circulation scheme. In 1989, Sergei Mavrodi and his brother Vyacheslav Mavrodi, and Olga Melnikova, founded the MMM company.
When the scheme first landed in Nigeria in 2016, what many Nigerians who put their money into it didn't know is that the MMM scheme had defrauded millions of Russians and had been banned throughout Russia.
Back in Russia, Mavrodi was an ex-covict. MMM scheme in Russia was more elaborate and extensive than it was here in Nigeria.
During its activities in Russia, MMM had 15 million investors across Russia. There were MMM shares and coupons, used as parallel currency to the Russian ruble and other foreign currencies. MMM shares and coupons were even exchanged for food and clothes.
It wasn't a very long time before all Russian MMM investors lost their money. When MMM collapsed in Russia, 50 people committed suicide. Many more slumped into lifetime hypertension and sorrow.
Mavrodi was sent to prison.
But just like some of his low-wattage Nigerian investors, millions of Russians still believed in Mavrodi and the MMM movement despite the glaring fraud it was banned for. So while Mavrodi was in prison, Russians voted him into the Kremlin as a Member of the Russian Parliament.
Through his electoral victory, he got the opportunity to leave the prison. Once out of the prison, Mavrodi ran away.
It was years after that Mavrodi exported MMM to Nigeria and other African countries.
In 2018, he died in an MMM style. His name was Mavrodi. He died on Monday; in the month of March (Mavrodi Monday March).
His brother refused to bury him next to their parents. It was MMM investors that raised money for his burial.
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