Fraud! High Profile MTN Shareholders Allegedly Siphoned $7.8bn Through Share Manipulations

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Some shareholders in mobile giant MTN syphoned $7.8 billion in eight days through manipulation of shares after listing the company at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The massive fraud, Pointblanknews.com gathered, took place between May 16, 2019 (when MTN listed on the Stock Exchange) and May 24, 2019.

The alleged fraudsters, called A list shareholders, through fraudulent share manipulation pocketed $7.8billion with the connivance of top echelon of the Nigeria Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.

Some of the A listers fingered in the shares racket are Pascal Dozie, Sani Mohammed Bello, Babatunde Folawiyo, Gbenga Oyebode, Ahmed Dasuki, Victor Odili.

Institutions like Access Bank, Coronation Merchant Bank are also fingered in the MTN Stock Fraud.

Investigations by Pointblanknews.com revealed that the fraudsters were allegedly basically using those banks to trade the MTN stock amongst themselves.

It was learnt that they manipulated and traded MTN shares among themselves using the Co-founders of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe.

While Aig-Imoukhuede was former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, he is also the promoters of Coronation Merchant Bank Limited and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Financial Market Dealers Association.

Wigwe is currently CEO and Group managing director of Access Bank plc.
All the other shareholders have interests in Access and Coronation Merchant Bank and so they pledged their shares from MTN to the banks.

It was gathered that since May 16 when MTN Nigeria listed in the Nigeria stock exchange, its stock jumped 41%, closing at 140 naira per share on Friday, giving the company a market capitalisation of 2.8 trillion naira ($7.8 billion).

Subsequently, MTN stopped paying dividends at this point the shareholders had started manipulating MTN Shares using Access Bank and Coronation Merchant Bank.

They started moving the shares around and the prices started going up with the backing of Aig Imoukuede and Wigwe.

A source involved in the investigation told Pointblanknews.com that “Those shareholders hoarded the MTN share, kept it among themselves after listing in NSE. They were trading the share among themselves and once the price goes up, they now take it to the public. It is a white collar crime. It is called Security Fraud.”

But stockbrokers sensed the fraud when the shares started going up. They wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which stormed MTN’s office in Lagos last Friday.

MTN, according to a contractor who confided in Pointblanknews, is owing it and 56 other Nigerian sub-contractors over N1 billion since 2010.

It was however gathered that four MTN directors had been quizzed alongside it’s chairman Pascal Dozie. Others quizzed are Gbenga Oyebode, Tunde Folawiyo, Ahmad Faroukh and Colonel Sani Bello.

Recall that the Senate had on Tuesday began a probe into the allegation that MTN Nigeria had repatriated $13.9bn from Nigeria to other countries between 2006 and now.

A member of the Senate representing Kogi-West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, while moving a motion based on the ‘Unscrupulous Violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act’, alleged that MTN illegally repatriated the amount out of the country through its bankers.

The bankers, according to him, are Stanbic IBTC, which allegedly helped the firm to transfer $4.87bn; Standard Chartered Bank, $5.72bn; Citi Bank, $2.98bn; and Diamond Bank, $0.35bn.

“The Senate observes that MTN did not request for the Certificate of Capital Importation from its bankers, Standard Chartered Bank, within the regulatory period of 24 hours of the inflow. The Senate observes also that the CBN was not notified of this inflow by Standard Chartered Bank within 48 hours of receipt and conversion of the proceeds to naira as required by regulation.”

However, MTN deny any wrong doing. In a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, company Secretary, the Telecom giant said they received all required approvals before listing at the NSE.

He reiterated MTN’s commitment to due process, assuring that it would comply and cooperate with the EFCC investigations.

Profile of the manipulators..

Pascal Dozie

Value of Shares: $102 million

Pascal Dozie is the founder of Diamond Bank, a commercial bank which recently merged with Access Bank to create one of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions. His Family Office, Kunoch Limited has investments in hotels, financial services and energy in Nigeria. Dozie owns 340,409,900 shares or 1.67% of MTN Nigeria, a stake currently valued at N37.07 billion ($102 million).

Sani Mohammed Bello

Value of Shares: $80.1 million

Sani Bello is the founder of Amni International Petroleum Development Co., a Nigerian oil exploration company. He owns 265,092,150 shares or 1.3% of MTN Nigeria, a stake currently valued at N28.87 billion ($80.1 million).

Babatunde Folawiyo

Value of Shares: $66.1 million

Tunde Folawiyo is the managing director of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, a conglomerate with interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, real estate and engineering. He owns 218,815,100 shares or 1.07% of MTN Nigeria, a shareholding that is worth N23.83 billion ($66.1 million).

Gbenga Oyebode

Value of Shares: $55 million

One of Nigeria’s most renowned commercial lawyers, Gbenga Oyebode is a founder and Managing Partner of Aluko & Oyebode- a successful corporate and commercial law firm in Nigeria. He owns 181,776,250 shares or 0.89% of MTN Nigeria, a stake that’s currently worth N19.8 billion ($55 million).

Ahmed Dasuki

Value of Shares: $53.75 million

He is the founder of Quaditect Consultants. He is also the Chairman of Drill Masters Africa, the largest indigenous exploration drilling company in Ghana, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of XEX Limited Nigeria and the Chairman of Interglobal Limited, a leading IT company in Nigeria. He owns 152,717,850 shares or 0.75%, currently worth N19.35 billion ($53.75 million).

Terminologies…

Securities fraud can occur in multiple ways, though some types of fraud are more common than others. It’s important to note that you can commit securities fraud even if you never actually profit from the activity. If you engage in fraudulent activity with the intent to profit or benefit from it, this is enough to commit the crime.

Misrepresentations. At the simplest level, making a profit in securities depends on knowing the current value of a security and making a judgment on what its value will be in the future. With knowledge of what a security’s value will be, a trader can then make an investment designed to profit from that future value. In some situations, a person can attempt to manipulate a security’s value by making a deceptive statements or misrepresentation. For example, a broker who appears on a television program and who knowingly makes a false statement about a company, in order to profit from the anticipated effect on the stock, has committed securities fraud.

Insider trading. A person who is associated with a company and knows information that isn’t available to the public, who tries to make a profit by buying or selling a security, commits the offense of insider trading in many situations. While some insider trading is legal, such as when a person in a corporation buys or sells the company’s stock and properly reports the activity to securities regulators, other forms of insider trading are not. For example, if you work for a company and learn a secret that, once revealed, would change the price of the company’s stock, you cannot legally use that information to trade securities. If you choose to make a trade using that information, you are guilty of securities fraud. If you tell a friend about the information and the friend makes a trade, the friend is guilty of securities fraud as well.

Churning. Churning describes the practice of a securities broker who convinces a client to engage in excessive trades, intending to generate more fees or commissions for the broker. Brokers are fiduciaries, meaning they have a legal duty to do what is in the client’s best interests and not to benefit the broker’s interests. When a broker engages in churning, he or she fails to keep the client’s best interests in mind, and instead makes trades only to benefit the broker or the brokerage.

Culled from pointblanknews.com

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