The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Monday, sealed the premises of three companies for allegedly engaging in illegal investment activities.
The affected companies are Oxford International Group, Farmforte Agro-Allied Solutions Limited/Agropartnerships and Vektr Capital Investment.
The apex capital market regulator accused the companies of carrying out capital market activities without a license.
One of the companies — Agropartnerships, an investment platform powered by Farmforte — has been in the news in recent weeks for failing to pay their investors’ money, both capital and profit.
According to a statement issued by the commission, the offices of the companies in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja were shut down for carrying out investment operations that fall within the ambit of fund management without registration.
“These companies do not have registration of the SEC to conduct fund management activities and have been found to promise exorbitant rates of returns to lure investors. The SEC has exercised its powers under Section 13 (w) Investments and Securities Act 2007, to shut them down,” the statement reads.
The commission hereby notifies the investing public that none of these entities or their investment platforms are registered by the SEC.
“The public is hereby reminded that it is unlawful for any private enterprise whether incorporated as a company or not, to solicit funds from the public by whatever means, to fund its private ventures as doing this will be in contravention of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007.”
SEC, therefore, advised the public to always confirm from the commission whether an entity providing investment services has been duly registered and whether the investment schemes are authorised by it.
It warned that any member of the investing public dealing with unregistered entities was doing so at his/her own risk.
It further encouraged the public to exercise due diligence and caution in making investment decisions, adding that list of valid operators can be obtained on its website.