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Thread: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin
    Virgile Ahissou and Artis Henderson, AAP
    September 2, 2010, 11:12 am

    More than 100,000 people in the tiny West African nation of Benin have lost their savings in a Ponzi scheme run by a now-defunct company that appeared to be publicly endorsed by the country's president.

    The government said in a statement in August that more than 130,000 people gave their savings to Investment Consultancy and Computering Services. Together they lost more than $US130 million ($A142.87 million), the statement said.


    The corporation was registered as a nonprofit computer service company and was operating illegally as a banking institution. ICC was forced to close on July 1, and more than a dozen of its employees were jailed.

    But the reverberations have echoed to the top of Benin's power pyramid and now threaten President Boni Yayi, who appeared on television with ICC managers.
    Television news shows showed Yayi and other top government officials posing alongside the managers of the investment firm. The images were reproduced on T-shirts. While investors interpreted Yayi's presence as an endorsement, the president did not officially speak in favour of ICC during the appearances.

    In this country of 8.7 million people, the average yearly income hovers at $US750 ($A824). Many lost months to years of savings in the scam.

    Electrician Lambert Saizonou, 40, planned to use his investment earnings to buy his first house. Now he has lost all of his savings. Jobs are scarce, and Saizonou worries it will take years to save to buy a home for his family.
    "They promised me an interest rate of 200 per cent," he said. "Now I must start saving again, little by little."

    Herman Menton, a 32-year-old company manager, lost nearly $US1500 after investing in ICC for a year. Like many of ICC's investors, Menton was referred to the company by friends who had already invested and lured him with the promise of high interest rates.

    Perhaps the greatest swindle, some say, is the government's role in the investmentcompany. Many victims say the sight of government officials in the ads reassured them their money would be safe.
    "We saw them on television," said Pierre Dossa, a mechanic who lost his savings. "How could we not believe in it?"

    Since the announcement that ICC's activities were fraudulent, Yayi has swept his administration of those associated with the company. In July, he fired Armand Zinzindohoue, the minister of the interior, and Chief Prosecutor Georges Constant Amoussou.

    More than a dozen individuals connected to ICC have been jailed, including the president's cousin and two of the company's top managers.
    But some members of Benin's National Assembly say these measures do not go far enough. They accuse Yayi of being complicit in ICC's corrupt activities, and they have called for his impeachment.

    But the government of Benin denies any wrongdoing. "This is a private affair between a business and its clients," said spokesman Candide Azanai. "Because the people have been robbed, the government is intervening for the security of its citizens."

    An investigative commission has been established, and the government is seeking to retrieve funds from ICC, even seizing personal items such as cars and villas from the company's managers. Victims will be reimbursed according to how much money is recovered, according to Azanai.

    ICC managers could not be reached for comment, as the company no longer exists and many executives are in jail.

    Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin - The West Australian
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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    "They promised me an interest rate of 200 per cent," he said. "Now I must start saving again, little by little."


    Doesn't that just say it all? All these things operate on greed.

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by iamwil View Post
    "They promised me an interest rate of 200 per cent," he said. "Now I must start saving again, little by little."


    Doesn't that just say it all? All these things operate on greed.
    Yeah,

    kinda makes one glad one doesn't live in a third world country where the average annual income is USD$750.00 being targeted by sophisticated criminals, doesn't it ???

    You pseudo-Christian supercilious prick.

    You wouldn't know the difference between greed and desperation, as***e.

    True colors, "iamwil" true colors.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by littleroundman View Post
    Yeah,

    kinda makes one glad one doesn't live in a third world country where the average annual income is USD$750.00 being targeted by sophisticated criminals, doesn't it ???

    You pseudo-Christian supercilious prick.

    You wouldn't know the difference between greed and desperation, as***e.

    True colors, "iamwil" true colors.
    When $750 allows you to live...raise a family...tis a different culture...

    But similar factors, like here where the lure of high returns abled Madoff to take folks entire savings...tis greed at work and folks playing off greed.

    And yes, I am glad I was not born into a third world country...however there are many that were and look at us and laugh.

    I've met a number of PCVs who did their stint in Benin, my sister among them, I'm quite familiar with their living conditions.

    You tell me, without greed would any ponzi scheme work?

    Well without greed or gov't intervention which requires participation like Social Security.

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    Seriously?'s Avatar
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    No, wil, this is not simple greed on the part of the people who invested. This says it all
    Perhaps the greatest swindle, some say, is the government's role in the investmentcompany. Many victims say the sight of government officials in the ads reassured them their money would be safe.
    "We saw them on television," said Pierre Dossa, a mechanic who lost his savings. "How could we not believe in it?"
    These are people who have little education and no experience in investing. They saw government officials with the company officials. Why would they think that a government official would even be in the same room with someone who was not on the up and up?

    Carpe diem? Well, technically yes, morally, no.
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    WishfulThinking is offline Foundling Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Carpe diem? Well, technically yes, morally, no.
    It is hard to see how anyone with above zero intelligence can compare the victims of a ponzi fraud perpetrated on an uneducated, poor third world population with those in a modern society with good information, education and communication systems.

    Iamwil, ponzis are frauds and they are often carried out by some very effective fraudsters. This isn't an argument about the legality or morality of an MLM, it's a report about a massive crime with victims. Your response is callous and, if as you say, you understand how a country like Benin operates, it is also repugnant.

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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post
    It is hard to see how anyone with above zero intelligence can compare the victims of a ponzi fraud perpetrated on an uneducated, poor third world population with those in a modern society with good information, education and communication systems.

    Iamwil, ponzis are frauds and they are often carried out by some very effective fraudsters. This isn't an argument about the legality or morality of an MLM, it's a report about a massive crime with victims. Your response is callous and, if as you say, you understand how a country like Benin operates, it is also repugnant.
    Since Wil won't address any of the other questions posed to him on the older threads where he was called out (par for the course and history continues to repeat itself), he found a new one to comment on then will eventually abandon. Of course he's a victim himself of his cactus juice MLM and has lost money for 11 years. But hey, he can't even figure that one out. Can we all have a big DUH moment here?
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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously? View Post
    These are people who have little education and no experience in investing. They saw government officials with the company officials. Why would they think that a government official would even be in the same room with someone who was not on the up and up?
    Time will tell how many were involved the estimates of the money and number swindled have been bouncing around in the past few articles. But what looks like happenned was the President was in a photo with the company during one of their events where they were funding something (they gave enough money to orphanages, hospitals, good causes to cement their lies). And then the ponzi used that picture in their advertising...the support of the gov't as I read was implied, but not actual.
    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post
    It is hard to see how anyone with above zero intelligence can compare the victims of a ponzi fraud perpetrated on an uneducated, poor third world population with those in a modern society with good information, education and communication systems.

    Iamwil, ponzis are frauds and they are often carried out by some very effective fraudsters. This isn't an argument about the legality or morality of an MLM, it's a report about a massive crime with victims. Your response is callous and, if as you say, you understand how a country like Benin operates, it is also repugnant.
    Ask anyone, they'll tell you I have zero intelligence. When I guy comes on and is quoted that he anticipated a 200% return on his investment so he could use it as a downpayment on a house, I give him a little credit for knowing what that is, but cannot take out the greed. I can ask 20 people on the street in our educated good old USA if they invested $10 and got a 200% return on their investment how much would they have...I'd get plenty of blank stares and confused individuals.

    When they say the average income is $750 a year...that is because they have a huge population that live on a hundred dollars a year, with their four wives and family...

    I don't know all about Benin...just know some folks that have lived there...and wouldn't think of categorizing the population as uneducated. Of course I don't think anyone who lives off the land, and feeds and takes care of his family as uneducated, even if he can't read or write. Toss a PHD out in his world and see how long they live.

    I still say greed plays a lot... and do you think the people in this city live at $750 a year?

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    WishfulThinking is offline Foundling Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Iamwil

    It looks as if you have an overwhelming need to be proved right, irrespective of something as irrelvant as the facts.

    Benin may not be the worst example of an African economy, but it sure ain't a good one.

    Try this couple of quotes (only Wikepedia, but there are many other places to corroborate them)

    The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture and cotton.

    Although trade unions in Benin represent up to 75% of the formal workforce, the large informal economy has been noted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITCU) to contain ongoing problems, including a lack of women's wage equality, the use of child labour, and the continuing issue of forced labour

    Uneducated has more to do with being uninformed than Stupid. You are right, the overage joe on the street in the US probably has no idea what a good and realistic rate of return on investment should be and couldnt tell you what percentage the banks pay. It's called greed when you KNOW that the percentage is crazy. Reading and writing are very useful tools when it comes to making investment decisions, and whilst it's lack does not detract from a human being's worth, it sure makes it hard to follow investment returns.

    Anyway, you are talking about a criminal fraud which "appeared" to be backed by the Government in a third world country, so your comments about the US have very little relevance. Its one thing to be politically correct, its just plain dumb to try to pretend that you are comparing like with like.

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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    As Wishful indicated, you cannot possibly compare "the man on the street" in the US and "the man on the street" in a third world country like Benin. Being stupid and being uneducated is not the same. You are comparing apples and oranges.
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    WishfulThinking is offline Foundling Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    You are comparing apples and oranges.
    and are also undermining the gravity of the situation caused by a ponzi operation in Benin.

    People were conned and many have lost their life savings. Isn't that enough for you?

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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post
    and are also undermining the gravity of the situation caused by a ponzi operation in Benin.

    People were conned and many have lost their life savings. Isn't that enough for you?
    OK, I give up. My contention is that without greed Ponzi schemes can not and will not work (unless they are run by a gov't like social security and taken out of our income before we see it.)

    You guys are indicating Ponzi schemes works without greed...please tell me how.

    Of course I have empathy for folks that lose money... No, not quite true...the greedy ones, the ones that know they are getting over, know there is something fishy yet choose to participate...

    With Madoff they talked of folks who lost millions...but did they lose millions or did they put in some amount and keep parlaying it? Like the Enron secretary who lost 300,000 after 8 years of work... she didn't put 300,000 in her 401k...they showed the math...it was all bogus money that she had 'accumulated' during the run up and divisions of the stock during the fiasco...yes she lost her $22,000 investment...I feel sorry for her about that...but she didn't lose 300k, that was all illegal monies.

    So now I don't know, should I not feel sorry for the secretary at all because she was educated and not in a third world country? Are we supposed to have different empathy based on where and how they live?

    I mean we obviously do? We Americans contributed heavily to Haiti and have completely ignored (in comparison) Pakistan. Why is that? Are the 3rd world Paki's not worth helping since they are mostly Muslim? Why do we have less concern for 4 million homeless, than 1 million homeless?

    Or why should I show more concern over a hundred thousand people, who lost 1,000 in savings vs. 4 million people who lost their homes and farms?

    3% of one population homeless by a flood of biblical proportions or 2% of another population who willingly yet unwittingly participated in robbery of their own savings.

    I feel for them both...but feel more for one than the other...my bad.
    Last edited by iamwil; 09-03-2010 at 03:31 PM.

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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Are we supposed to have different empathy based on where and how they live?
    In a way, yes. A farmer in Africa with no education and little access to investment information is approached by someone promising that they can invest their money and give them a return. This person is apparently educated and shows the farmer they have connections in the government by showing the farmer pictures. The farmer has never heard of Ponzi schemes and probably doesn't even have a bank account, much less access to the internet, TV, or a daily newspaper. The educated person says "trust me". Yes, I feel sorry for the farmer. He didn't have a chance.

    The secretary, on the other hand, has at least a high school education, has a bank account, has access to the internet, 300 channels of TV (she's not watching Suze Orman, obviously), daily news via newspaper where Ponzi schemes are discussed fairly often. If she is that clueless in today's society here in the US, then while I regret she lost her investment I cannot feel sorry for her considering she didn't do her (to quote MLMers) "due diligence".

    Again, comparing apples and oranges. I'm not even going to try to understand how Haiti and Pakistan fit into this discussion.
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by iamwil
    You guys are indicating Ponzi schemes works without greed...please tell me how.
    You seem confused, Wil.

    Some people don't even know they're participating in a ponzi scheme. You brought up Madoff and his "high returns". But who thought Madoff was running a ponzi scheme? The victims didn't know.

    The rate of return that Madoff offered was around 10%. Not really that high, in my opinion.

    My 401k retirement fund is with Vanguard. The annual rate of return is 12.7%.

    The people investing with Madoff were getting less than I get with my 401k. And his 10% returns were fake.

    Are people who want a 10% return on their money really greedy?

    I don't think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unsaved Trash
    Of course he's a victim himself of his cactus juice MLM and has lost money for 11 years. But hey, he can't even figure that one out.
    But here's what happens:

    They'll defend their ponzi schemes by saying that they're participating because they really, really, really LOVE the products.

    That's why they pay so much for all the stuff.

    It's not about greed. It's about love.

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    iamwil" is simply employing his "Christian" first world psychic skills to the problem.

    It's an amazing talent, really.

    The story alleges that over 100,000 people from a third world country fell victim to the fraud, but "wil" using his amazing skills is able to deduce that they were driven by greed.

    And he can provide further proof of his "knowingness" abilities by revealing his sister once visited Benin.

    I think his abilities are commonly known as "revealing ones' true colors" in some circles.
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    WishfulThinking is offline Foundling Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Here's an interesting article about the Benin ponzi scam, from the New York Times. Not only has the ICC scam caused damage to hundreds of thousands of families in Benin, but its consequences may well shake the country's political stability.

    So much for ponzi schemes being harmless.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/wo...a/19benin.html

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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously? View Post
    In a way, yes. A farmer in Africa with no education and little access to investment information is approached by someone promising that they can invest their money and give them a return. This person is apparently educated and shows the farmer they have connections in the government by showing the farmer pictures. The farmer has never heard of Ponzi schemes and probably doesn't even have a bank account, much less access to the internet, TV, or a daily newspaper. The educated person says "trust me". Yes, I feel sorry for the farmer. He didn't have a chance.

    The secretary, on the other hand, has at least a high school education, has a bank account, has access to the internet, 300 channels of TV (she's not watching Suze Orman, obviously), daily news via newspaper where Ponzi schemes are discussed fairly often. If she is that clueless in today's society here in the US, then while I regret she lost her investment I cannot feel sorry for her considering she didn't do her (to quote MLMers) "due diligence".

    Again, comparing apples and oranges.
    I think we will find it apples and apples. I think we'll find that most of the participants were from the cities, and more educated than your poor farmer, and also with a much higher salary than the $750 a year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Wolf View Post
    Some people don't even know they're participating in a ponzi scheme. You brought up Madoff and his "high returns". But who thought Madoff was running a ponzi scheme? The victims didn't know.
    Where did I say people 'knew' they were involved in a Ponzi scheme? I simply said that without 'Greed' greed for unrealistic returns, a ponzi scheme can't operate.

    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post

    So much for ponzi schemes being harmless.
    [/url]
    And who thinks Ponzi schemes are harmless??

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by iamwil View Post
    I simply said that without 'Greed' greed for unrealistic returns, a ponzi scheme can't operate.
    Geez, you can't help yourself, can you.

    You'd rather be "right" than virtually anything else, wouldn't you ????

    Are you saying a ponzi scheme cannot operate without giving "unreasonable returns" ????

    So, a fraud offering 1 or 2 percentage points over the "norm" cannot operate, is that your reasoning ???

    Here's a tip for you, free and gratis, Mr non judgmental "Christian"

    Just admit you made a racist, thoughtless and judgmental comment involving the behavior of over 130,000 people who live in circumstances so far removed from your Western understanding as to be incomprehensible, whether or not your sister was once there.

    What's worse, you've managed to further reinforce the depth of your ignorance even further by attempting to rationalize and justify your original comments.

    Mea Culpa, "wil" Mea Culpa

    It's easy, "iamwil" you can do it.

    What's more, you'll feel better for it.
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    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    You know Willy, you really need to just shut the hell up. The greed in Ponzi schemes and MLMs comes more from the purveyors of these schemes than it does from the participants. That is where the real greed is, pal. You simply cannot believe that these people are victims, because you yourself promote and believe and and rip off people with the worthless, overpriced garbage that is peddled by the MLM that you are in.

    You try and insist that the average income for this country is not what is stated, yet it certainly is. I found several credible sources on the net confirming this. I also found sources confirming the lack of education in this country and that most of the people do not live in the cities and even the ones that do, live in dire poverty. Again, you try to justify what has happened to these people to whitewash your own behavior. I suppose that is the only way yopu can look in a mirror and sleep at night.

    You are a disgrace as a human being. You claim your sister was there. Another one of your continued bullshit stories and lies.....much like your phony job, your phony commute, your phony office and your phony vacation. You claim to believe in God....you rant on over at Scam, about making the world a better place and all the other kumbaya b.s. that you drool about....yet it's all just bullshit and lies. You don't walk the walk. You spout crap that you think will make you look better than the person that you really are. You have no credibility. But more and worse than that, you have no heart, no soul, no courage, no conscience, no morals, no values and you cannot even distinguish the diference between right and wrong. You are simply, a heartless *******.

    The savings of more than 100,000 people in Benin have been lost in a pyramid scheme, prompting calls for the President of the tiny West African country to be impeached after he appeared to endorse the investment scam.

    Thousands of families put money into Investment Consultancy and Computering Services (ICC) as word spread of its ability to offer returns of between 50 per and 200 per cent to investors while it used its apparently bottomless funds to finance health clinics, feed orphans and make large donations to Christian groups.

    But the dream of quick wealth evaporated last month when ICC was forced to close, leaving behind it 130,000 people who had invested their savings and losses of about $130m (£84m) in a country where most subsist on $2 a day. Many families had pooled their investments, meaning that up to a quarter of the nine-million strong population has been directly affected by the scam.

    Lambert Saizonou, 40, an electrician, was typical of many victims, having poured his savings into the Ponzi scheme in the hope that he could buy his first house. He said: "They promised me an interest rate of 200 per cent. Now I must start saving again, little by little."

    Anger against the authorities, who at best failed to stop ICC trading when it was not registered as a bank and at worst turned a blind eye to a fraud into which thousands of people poured their life savings, coalesced this week into a vote by more than half of Benin's MPs calling for President Boni Yayi to face impeachment proceedings.

    Mr Yayi, a former development banker elected in 2006 on an anti-corruption ticket, was seen on television news bulletins posing alongside other government officials with managers of the investment company. The images were reproduced on T-shirts and in advertisements, prompting many investors to interpret the presence of the President as an endorsement.

    Adrien Houngbedji, a leading opposition politician, told the Associated Press: "We have elected a chief of state to protect the people. He has betrayed the confidence placed in him by the people, and he should be prosecuted before the high court of justice."

    ICC officials relied on word of mouth to attract clients, who were met by consultants promising attractive returns. Guy Akplogan, the company's director, said in a television interview earlier this year: "We are God's workers."

    The scandal, which has already prompted street protests in the capital Porto Novo, threatens to cause upheaval in what has been hitherto one of the most stable countries in West Africa, cited approvingly by Western diplomats for its independent parliament, civilian control of the military and comparatively free press.

    Mr Yayi has attempted to limit the damage to his administration by cracking down on anyone associated with ICC. Last month he sacked his interior minister, Armand Zinzindohoue, who was accused of providing bodyguards for the company's bosses, and chief prosecutor Georges Constant Amoussou, who was alleged to have blocked an investigation into the scam when concerns were first raised last autumn. About 13 ICC executives have been jailed for offences including fraud.

    The government has set up a commission to investigate the scandal and vowed to rake back funds by seizing the assets of ICC managers, including luxury cars and villas. Candide Azani, a government spokesman, denied that Mr Yayi had personally approved ICC, saying: "This is a private affair between a business and its clients. Because the people have been robbed, the government is intervening for the security of its citizens."
    [B]

    Thousands left penniless after collapse of Ponzi scheme - Africa, World - The Independent

    The Republic of Benin is a nation in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The country has a population of 8.8 million who are highly dependent on agriculture. A substantial amount of the nationís income arises from subsistence farming. Some tidbuts from articles about Benin....

    Orphan Relief and Rescue was started three and a half years ago by founders Rebecca and Tim Pratt, who were traveling through the country of Benin, West Africa when they came across an orphanage with 109 starving children.
    "Becca said, 'This has to be stopped,'" Desmond said.

    August 2010:

    With a per capita income of US$690 in 2008, Benin ranks in the lower income group of countries. The country has consolidated its democratic process since 1989. The country also engaged since the 1990's in important economic reforms which resulted in a sustained economic performance with an average annual growth rate of 4.4% over 1990-2006. The development outcomes of this positive growth have been limited due in part to the relatively high population growth (3.2%), and in part to the vulnerability of the Beninese economy to external shocks. Poverty has been reduced but remains relatively high. According to the latest estimates in 2007, one-third of Beninese continues to live under the monetary poverty line, while approximately 40% of the population lives in structural (non-monetary) poverty. Access to basic social services has been improved, in particular in the education, water and health sectors. However, achieving MDG targets in some other sectors remain a significant challenge.

    Now asshole, you tell me how people who are desperate, naive, uneducated, ignorant and downright broke, are greedy again. You are a despicable piece of slime. You defend those you would steal from the impoverished and then try to justify their deeds.

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    WishfulThinking is offline Foundling Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    And who thinks Ponzi schemes are harmless??
    Try the ponzi founders and promoters for one and their apologists for two. The HYIP boards are full of them.

    What is hard to understand is why you are trying to push some of the blame for this particular ponzi onto its participants and not its perpetrators.

    The reports on the Benin ICC ponzi make it quite clear that the people who you consider better educated are also supporting their extended (and less educated?) families and the majority participated in order to help them too - not out of greed. For this reason it has so many victims. All this ostensibly supported by a highly popular government in a new democracy.


    And better educated and better off are relative terms. It is suspected that the life style of those so called better off people has little or nothing to do with your own.

    Are your comments simply due to guilt by association?
    Last edited by WishfulThinking; 09-07-2010 at 10:12 AM.

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    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post
    What is hard to understand is why you are trying to push some of the blame for this particular ponzi onto its participants and not its perpetrators.
    Because all liars, thieves and conmen stick together! You failed in MLM? Well you just didn't work hard enough and didn't try hard enough and didn't want it hard enough! You were taken in by a ponzi? It's your own fault! You were greedy! That's what sobs like Willy will tell you.
    Last edited by A Life Aloft; 09-07-2010 at 10:15 AM.

  22. #22
    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    One-third of the population live below the poverty line set by Benin, which suggests that close to 50 percent live below the dollar-a-day international poverty line. The dollar-a-day poverty line is based on the income required to provide the absolute minimum of nutrition, clothing, and shelter. Some 29 percent of children under 5 are malnourished (the figure is 1 percent for the United States), and life expectancy is 55 years (in the United States it is 77 years). Almost all those in poverty are in rural areas, relying on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods and suffering because of poor land, inadequate rainfall, and not enough income to purchase good seeds, fertilizer, or farm machinery. In 2001 Benin was ranked 157th out of 174 countries in the UN's Human Development Index, which combines measures of income, education, and health provision.

    In 1999 there was 1 doctor per 200,000 inhabitants. There was 1 midwife per 12,000 pregnant women, and just 42 percent of the population had access to health care. Several international initiatives to improve these figures have been undertaken. The constitution decrees that primary education is compulsory for all, though fees must be paid. In 1998 there was a 62 percent enrollment in primary age education, though this number dropped to 17 percent in secondary education. In 1993 almost US$1 million was set aside for a scheme for rural girls to be exempted from school fees. In 2002 adult literacy stood at 29 percent.

  23. #23
    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Average home in the interior of Benin taken in 2010:













    Hospital



    The City







    All of these pics are from 2010. Now tell us again about the greedy people livong in Benin, you low life cretin.

  24. #24
    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Orphanage in Benin....



    The orphanage is located in Lokossa, Benin, West Africa.

    The orphanage is currently home to 56 children, all of whom are either orphaned or abandoned.

    There on no beds, so they sleep on the ground. Since our visit in 2009 each child and volunteer received a hand-made quilt, which at least gives a bit of padding between them and the ground.

    We've also been able to supply mosquito nets! This drastically lowers the chance of the children contracting malaria.

    The orphanage was built on public property and in less than 2 years they will be forced to move.
    So, since the new cement enclosure is now complete, thanks to many generous donations, we've set a new goal. Before the children are forced to move in 2 years, we are hoping to build a cement dormitory within the new enclosure on the new property. The dormitories at their current location are built with sticks and clay with a thin layer of cement to hold it together. Though the rain has eroded the cement and the rooms leak whenever it rains. Also, it is poorly ventilated, so in the dry season the children sleep with the doors open, and already several children have been bitten by snakes while sleeping and required medical attention. They are also very small rooms, with 14-18 boys and girls sleeping inside.

  25. #25
    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Ponzi scheme shakes Africa's Benin

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    You try and insist that the average income for this country is not what is stated, yet it certainly is.

    Now asshole, you tell me how people who are desperate, naive, uneducated, ignorant and downright broke, are greedy again. You are a despicable piece of slime. You defend those you would steal from the impoverished and then try to justify their deeds.
    Such fun you have, I read the articles. I have yet to state that the average income is any different than what is stated. I believe it to be...but when you have almost 50% at less than a 1.25 a day...when you have 85% at less than the national average...a small middle class that earns substantially more than average, and a smaller wealthy class... The average annual income in the rural areas is under $200 a year...

    I could be wrong, but I again think we'll find out the vast majority of the folks taken by this scheme were from the middle and upper class. Not the rural subsistence farmer.

    And exactly where am I defending the perpetrators...I give no defence for them. Wherever they are, whoever they are, they should be tried and punished.

    And when they do the repayment of recovered funds to the victims, I'd fully support those below the national average being made whole first before the middle and upperclass get any of their funds back...

    Of course I'll get blasted for that as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by WishfulThinking View Post
    What is hard to understand is why you are trying to push some of the blame for this particular ponzi onto its participants and not its perpetrators.
    Have I ever said the perpetrators were not to be blamed? They deserve to be jailed. I have said I haven't seen any evidence or read any article on collusion by the gov't yet (the criminality of single individuals don't make the gov't, if they did, we'd toss our entire lot in the garbage)...I have seen that the Prez was in a picture, like at a ribbon cutting for an orphanage, or the opening of a hospital...with the gang that set this up. It is understanding that he was there, everything was supposedly on the up and up at the time... and then the 'company' used those pictures to further their venture...(simillar to just about every legit company does)

    I don't not feel for the people of Benin.... I continue to ask the same question, without answer...Can a ponzi scheme run without greed??

    Quote Originally Posted by A Life Aloft View Post
    my head is in the sky, my heart is with my wife and my ass is broke
    I'm often wondering which of those is true...

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