Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the public’s help in locating Omotade Sparks Amos Sewanu, the mastermind behind the Inksnation crypto scam.
According to a notice , the EFCC wants Sewanu to respond to fraud charges relating to Inksnation’s purported crypto token- Pinkoin.
The Inksnation scam, which gained popularity just before the start of lockdown restrictions, has duped many Nigerians with its promise of a lifetime income. Interested investors are asked to choose from five different investment packages. Each package promises a different monthly salary.
However, according to information on Inksnation website, all salary payments are in the form of the Pinkoin crypto token. Furthermore, the token is not listed on any crypto exchange in Nigeria therefore raising questions about its liquidation.
Despite this, the Inksnation masterminds continue to post testimonials on social media of some Pinkoin investors who claim that they are getting the monthly salaries as promised. The use of testimonials is a common tactic used by many Ponzi schemes. They are intended to blunt scam allegations and to hoodwink fence-sitting potential investors.
However, in its public notice, the EFCC specifically states that Sewanu is facing charges of “obtaining by false pretences, name dropping as well as fraud,” an amount of $84,200 (or 32 million Naira). According to the notice, Sewanu received the money in question after “floating the online digital currency.”
This follows the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission’s (NSEC) public notice that labelled Inksnation an illegal operation. Similarly, the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) issued its own notice which labelled Pinkoin a scam.
Both warnings did not stop the Inksnation team from continuing to solicit for funds from unsuspecting Nigerians. However, the EFCC notice raises the stakes as Sewanu and his accomplices face possible criminal indictment.