They stated that despite the account freeze, their customers’ investments were still safe and accessible.
According to them, funding and withdrawals will continue to be processed as normal, even as they make efforts to work with authorities to make sure that issues raised against them are addressed as quick as possible.
Recall that there was report earlier on Tuesday, 18th August, 2021, that the Federal High Court, Abuja has ordered for the freezing of the accounts of six investment platforms, following the request from the CBN.
The CBN had reportedly accused the platforms of engaging in “illicit forex transactions”.
The six online platforms whose accounts were frozen by CBN were:
- Bamboo Systems Technology Limited
- Rise Vest Technologies Limited
- Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS
- Chaka Technologies Limited
- CTL/Business Expenses
- Trove Technologies Limited.
Stressing further, the Court maintained that the accounts of the affected investment platforms would remain blocked for 180 days.
Bamboo, Risevest, and others have been known to be some of the most popular online investment platforms in Nigeria which offer Nigerians access to stocks, bonds and other securities in both local and international markets. In this, Nigerian investors make their profits as monthly/annual interests from their investments in the platforms.
The recent challenge of the aforementioned investment platforms started on April, 2021, when the Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly claimed that the investment services offered by the platforms were illegal.
This possibly later grown to the height of, CBN accusing them of engaging in “illicit forex transactions”.
Supporting her claims, the CBN through its counsel Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, quoted that it was discovered through their investigation that it was a serious infraction for the investment platforms to be dealing with some foreign exchange transactions, and as well lacking documentation.
This, the CBN said violates the extant laws and regulations, particularly the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act and the Central Bank of Nigeria foreign exchange manual.
To be more specific, the CBN stated it clearly that the platforms were engaged in illegal foreign exchange transactions, accessing and procuring foreign exchange through their banks from the Nigerian foreign exchange market via several bureaux de change, international money transfer operators and have transferred cash deposit of over $10,000.00 to various accounts overseas.
Not only this, the platforms were also accused of trading in foreign securities and cryptocurrencies.
These, the CBN said violates the provisions of extant laws and regulations, while the issue of trading in cryptocurrencies contravenes the CBN Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012 and BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/014/001 dated February 5, 2021, and July 01, 2015.
Following all these accusations, the Court later approved the freeze on the accounts of the listed investment platforms, and said anyone that thinks otherwise is free to approach the court to seek redress.
In this, the case was later adjourned to February 20, 2022, for hearing.