Interview: “I know beyond reasonable doubt that Piuni is a scam” — Participant cries out

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[Interview]–Following a street report published by THE PAGE where the author accused PIUNI platform of orchestrating an MLM/PONZI scam to the tune of 6.5 Billion Naira, THE PAGE has started a journalistic monitoring on the activities of the platform in order to establish the veracity of the various allegations being put forward from different quarters. The result of this journalistic endeavour is aimed at bringing the facts, figures and truth about the platform to the public help people in reaching sound decisions about investing in this and other similar platforms.

The financial tragedy birthed by MMM and other similar Ponzi schemes brought about massive depression, disappointments and even suicides amongst victims of the scam network. Despite the enormity of the losses registered and incessant advice and warning emanating from various financial regulatory bodies, it is highly doubtful if Nigerians have learnt their lessons as such schemes still continue to thrive.

PIUNI may yet well be another of such financial tragedy already happening. PIUNI is listed in “Cryptocurrency, Golibu, pyramid scheme: Complete list of latest Ponzi schemes in Nigeria”  a list described by PAGE ONE as “Many of the them are ponzi scams, pyramid schemes and cryptocurrency schemes that require its members to buy packages into a fake digital currency that has no value outside of the group”. Similarly, a thread to scrutinise the activities was started on Tech Cabal’s radar where the promoters of the scheme couldn’t defend its viability, feasibility and transparency.

In this interview with Oredola Ibrahim of THE PAGE, one of the participants of the scheme talks about his involvement in the scheme, his investment, his eventual discovery of the platform as a scam, how he is fighting to get his money back and his advice to others not to fall in the same trap.

As regards the current allegations of scam carried out by Piuni, as a participant, can you introduce yourself? Or you can choose to remain anonymous.

I am a serial entrepreneur and I will like to remain anonymous for now.

How did you get to know about the Piuni platform?

I got to know about Piuni from one of my friends David on Dec 27th 2016. He who was also introduced to the company by another affiliate of the company. He told me Piuni is a telecommunications and financial services company based in Arkansas, United States of America and that the company presents me an opportunity to earn from the daily activities I carry out on my mobile device some of which include mobile top-ups, phone calls, web browsing, global funds transfer offered by the company on its various platforms. He had just joined Piuni and had purchased a partner pack as an affiliate with the company.

He was a trusted friend and he had pitched very well to me about various value propositions and promises of the company which I believed… I however did some findings online but dint really see any cogent online profiling of the company. When I asked my friend why this was so he told me the company is a new company and that it was looking for early joiners before it official product launch in March. In the course of my interactions with the company, its other Piuni affiliates and members, I was made to understand that company used a global multi-level marketing approach in retailing its telecommunication products and services and that company will be launching its operations officially and globally in Dubai on the 16th of March 2017 after which it’s various commercial products, services and platforms will be made available to its partners for use.

Why didn’t you suspect that it was a Ponzi scheme despite the bogus and various unverifiable claims?

When I joined Piuni, I believed in its value propositions, I believed some of its plans and products weren’t too far-fetched; E-top wasn’t a bogus one, paying of bills also didn’t sound bogus. More so, claims that the company was a US based company owned by foreigners also gave me some form of reassurance that it was legit. Also, as at the time of making my investment with the company, it was difficult to say that the company made or had unverifiable claims. Piuni, David Olowe and his associates did a good job of misrepresenting the company’s origin, the nature of business and its headquarters.

I didn’t suspect it was a Ponzi. Not Until recently.

How long have you been on the platform? And what level are you, an agent, affiliate or user?

I made a one-time purchase as an affiliate partner of Piuni in January 2017. However, my investigation later revealed that the platform has been around since April 2016. 

How much have you invested in the scheme? How many people have you brought/referred to the platform?

People join Piuni by purchasing any of its partner pack (Customer $40, Affiliate $140 and Agent $1800).  In January 4th 2017, I invested in Piuni by purchasing six affiliate ($140) partnership packs at three hundred and seventy eight thousand naira ($840) at a naira to dollar rate of N450. I have not refereed a single person because the company doesn’t have any functioning retail product. Piuni promised its official market opening on the 14th January, it also promised to unveil its products globally in March 19 2017, during which its various products and service platforms would be unveiled and available for its partners. Of course, not a single product has been unveiled. Such reasons have hindered my ability to refer anyone as there was no working service to show for it. I couldn’t sell something that is not working to anyone.

Have you made any cash out, yet?

I have not made a single dine from Piuni till date. I can’t tell people to put their money into something that is not working…

Did you know Mr. David Olowe personally?

I don’t know David Olowe personally nor ever had any personal interaction with him. I however contacted him on Facebook as regards updates and information about the company products and services but he is always in the habit of removing, deleting or block such comments or mentions questioning any info about the company. Likewise, other affiliates that have questioned any info about Piuni were either blocked or removed from Piuni affiliate WhatsApp groups. From all I have heard from people about him, he is indeed a conman.

How did you know him? And did he strike you as a scammer?

I knew him through my interaction with various Piuni affiliates, Piuni groups and social media. Furthermore, my upline who had some interaction with him confirmed to me David Olowe was the brain behind Piuni. From his Facebook profile he flaunts himself has a “a life coach, entrepreneur and Harvard Alumni” one wouldn’t ordinarily know that he is a scammer. He is a master of deception. He was also regarded and often referred to himself as the co-founder and African director of Piuni.

 

And what makes you think that this is a scam, and that you’d not be paid soon?

The above claims and promises by the acclaimed USA based company were the motives behind my strong interest to partner with the company as an affiliate. I discovered Piuni has been around since April 2016,  the company failure to make available its products and service platforms at due date “Jan 14th,2017”,  20“Mar 19, 2017” etc and  even 6month after aroused my suspicions towards the company as either a scam or a pyramid scheme; Yet Piuni, David Olowe and his top associates encourages affiliates into recruiting new joiners into the scheme as the only means of getting returns on their various investments thus running purely on a “Pyramid or Ponzi Scheme” model for over a year. Nonetheless, I and several other affiliates have made countless efforts to clarify our suspicions by reaching out to the founder, the company and its top associates, but these efforts were met with hostile shutdown, intimidating, evasive and deceptive responses from the founder and top associates of the company.

In September 15 2017, I and many other Piuni Affiliates launched an investigation into Piuni and its founder (David Olowe) in which we concluded that Piuni was indeed a scam I can share you our detailed findings. Here is a few, our investigation showed Piuni and its founder to have

  1. Operated a Scheme in Resemblance to an Advance Fee Fraud and an Illegal Pyramid Scheme. In which compensation program was based primarily on providing payments to participants only for the recruitment of new participants, and not on the retail sale of company products or services, thereby resulting in a substantial percentage of its participants losing money. In truth and in fact, participants did not earn any income from sales of company products as these products as it had no product.
  1. Questionable Legitimacy of the Company and Its Founder Piuni has no structured organizational hierarchy, its top associates are dubious lacking solid knowledge about what the company really is, and refuses to keep informed or answer relevant questions its partners enquire about the company. Its founder involvement with a several dubious multi-level marketing scheme having helped promote several dubious pyramid schemes in Nigeria including Vemma which was faced with multiple law suit from the U.S Federal Trade Commission, the Italian Consumer Protection Agency, The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland’s and more. According to testimonies by its participants in Uganda, the company, its founder and top associates have been found to be shady by deleting some Ugandans affiliate from its systems and eloped with their money. Furthermore, some participants in Uganda have filed a law suit against the company, complaining bitterly about its dealing. The company is currently being investigated by the Uganda Communications Commission.
  1. Gross Misrepresentation, Knowingly or Recklessly Misleading Claims about its Business Practices, Sales & Marketing Activities. Despite not having a functioning product or retail service, Piuni and top associates encourages its affiliates into deceiving or cowing more people to parting away with their hard earned money by joining it’s so called business opportunity. Encouraging its agents and affiliates to make sweet promises about its products and its “coming soon ideas”. The company would rather spend its affiliate investments in organizing a luxury trip to Dubai or Texas for its leaders instead of investing such funds into developing tangible products and services for its agents and affiliates.

It is suspected that Piuni intergrated llc may not have any international or national license to operate as telecommunication operator with any country including Nigeria where majority of its agents, affiliates or users are. One would easily have expected that this acclaimed telco giant will ordinarily have a fully functioning website promoting its products or revealing the brains behind the company, its address and more… a check on their website instead will only give you access to a dormant website which doesn’t list its products and full of dead links.

So, you believe now that Piuni is a Ponzi scam and despite that do you still think that you’d be able to recover your money?

I know beyond reasonable doubt that Piuni is a scam. We have sought legal counsel and are currently pursuing a lawsuit against Piuni and David Olowe. I and some affiliates have also taken steps at petitioning Piuni and David Olowe to the EFCC. I strongly believe in the justice system of Nigeria. Knowing that this country frowns strictly at issue of corruption, extortion, misappropriation  and fraudulent practices. I believe I will get back my investment to the very last kobo.

Do you know any other associates that run this platform with Mr. David Olowe?

There are several of them. Not that I know any of them personally but over time during my cause of investigations and like… Some of Piuni/David Olowe associates include, Akintoye, Frank Benson, Egerue Godswill, Rev. Adu mensah, Olobatuyi Taiwo, Eseku Olufemi, Peculiar A.T, Amaechi Kenneth, Akintola Wale, Olajide Bello and more. These individuals are wild vultures looking around for innocent people to swindle.

What’s your advice for those considering to join Piuni?

Everyone, in fact the whole world should stay clear of PIUNI. It is an international Ponzi scheme that have continued to cause more injuries to humanity. It has turned many friends and families against each other because they made them invest money into the company. I know of somebody who sold his land and use part of the money to invest in Piuni. It is estimated that over N6.5Billion naira ($18,309,915) has been lost to PIUNI.  I am aware that the number of individuals who fell prey to this scam continues to grow, not to talk of the growing cries from victims of this colossal fraud every day. I am calling on the national and international government agencies, Internet Crime Complaint Center, Nigerian, USA, UK agencies on Internet Fraud to swiftly bring this information to general populace awareness and to immediately apprehend these individuals as they are still reaping well-meaning Africans and internationals of their hard earn money. And I want to restate that those I have mentioned above should be avoided totally, they are con artists  and they will sweet talk you to part with your hard earned money.

This participant can be contacted via adewalemichael99@gmail.com. While we are still working to get an audience with the managers of the scheme, if you are a PIUNI participant, agent or affiliate, we will be happy to have your contributions, facts and information in the ongoing conversation. You can mail us at editor@thepageng.com or use the comment section below. 




Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thepageng.com as the source.

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