The Central Bank of Eswatini(CBE), Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) have noted with concern the increasing trend of individuals participating in mushrooming schemes masquerading as group savings schemes or ‘luholiswane’ through various social media platforms.
The CBE, FSRA and REPS have observed that these schemes are an enticing and deceptive arrangement solely dependent on the recruitment of members of the public to participate without any principles associated with legitimate group savings schemes or ‘luholiswane’ as defined in the Consumer Credit Act, 2016. As such these schemes, which include amongst others; “WhatsApp Gifting” resemble pyramid schemes which for all intents and purposes remain illegal in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Members of the public, therefore, are reminded and warned not to participate in pyramid schemes either through promotion, joining or inviting others as this is in violation of the law and legal action can be taken against personsparticipating in such schemes.
The CBE, FSRA and REPS are cognisant of the prevailing financial difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini, which has resulted in members of the public becoming vulnerable to quick money-making schemes.
Notwithstanding the above, the business model of any pyramid scheme is not sustainable overtime and ultimately, the scheme collapses. To avoid being tied up in debt, breaking trust and families, we implore members of the public to exercise due diligence and only transact in financial services products offered by authorized financial services providers.
The CBE, FRSA and REPS further caution all promoters of pyramid schemes, not limited to WhatsApp Gifting, including persons who attempt to recruit others directly or indirectlyanywhere in Eswatini through any medium of communication to desist from undertaking such practices immediately.
We appeal to the public to report incidents of any of the above-listed activity to the Royal Eswatini Police Services at 999 or 9999 and all information received will be treated with the highest confidentiality and the urgency it deserves.
For enquiries on licensed entities, kindly contact the CBE at 2408 2000 or FSRA at 2406 8000.
Remember, ‘If it is too good to be true, it probably is’. Therefore, Baleka!