MMA Forex, a Dubai-based Ponzi scheme that was shut down and its owner jailed almost five years ago, is open for business once again.
According to the report of Gulf News, the company operating it, MMABank GT, is located in the same office building as the previous time. Back then, between 2011 and 2013, it scammed UAE residents out of a total of AED 40 million (almost $10.9 million).
Despite being on the warning list of the Swiss regulator the Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) since 2012, MMA is back in business offering unrealistically high profits with an investment of $300 in an airline and heavy machinery the company allegedly owns or by trading in forex.
“You can start with just $300,” a company representative told the Gulf News reporter who posed as a potential investor, and demonstrated on a demo account how one can win big when trading with MMA Forex.
The scheme, it seems, is the same as the old times, but now, as back then, there are neither an airline and heavy machinery, nor would be any profits.
The manager of operations of MMA Group, Zubair Ahmad, denied the allegations that the company is once again running a Ponzi scheme. “The owner of MMA Forex is no longer alive”, Ahmad told Gulf News. “His son who happens to be our CEO, was arrested over regulatory issues. MMA Group has no links with MMA Forex. We are not taking any investment on behalf of MMA Forex. We are here to just facilitate the payments of those affected by it.”
According to the active website of MMA Forex, however, it is “a world leading and regulated forex and CFD broker” with 200 000 registered traders around the globe. The Facebook page is also regularly updated.
It looks like the UAE residents are fairly gullible. According to Gulf News, 25 000 people have lost AED 2.5 billion in various dubious investment schemes since 2013. Last year SMN reported of another forex scam scheme, Exential, in which thousands of people “invested” nearly $300 million.