17 linked to Burundi 'get-rich-quick' schemes arrested
Johannesburg - At least 17 people have been arrested in Burundi's largest city Bujumbura over a Ponzi scheme, online publication RegionWeek reported.
It quoted the spokesman for the public security and disasters management ministry, Pierre Nkurikiye, as saying a probe into the company behind the scheme, Crowd1, was underway.
Crowd1 hit the headlines in Burundi recently when it launched a scheme which offered participants dividends for recruiting new investors.
Nkurikiye expressed concern that Burundi nationals kept flocking to such schemes which made false "get-rich-quick" promises, despite regular warnings from the government.
Representatives of such scheme deny accusations of fleecing the public of their money, arguing that they offer a platform for genuine network marketing.
Burundi's central bank has already issued a warning that the the activities of companies trading in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are illegal.
"Since virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies are not regulated and are not issued or guaranteed by any government or central bank, these currencies have no legal tender in the territory of Burundi," it said in a statement posted on its website.
"In this regard, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi reminds the general public that no entity or financial institution is currently authorized to offer remittance or other payment services using a virtual currency such as Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dogecion, Onecoin, BTC, Fahari Cash Coin, Ello Cash Coin and other similar products."