On 9 March, Insight Crime reported that a new investigative report shows Ponzi and pyramid schemes have proliferated across Caribbean countries during the pandemic, and authorities have been unable to keep up. It is said that the schemes “have already cost would-be investors in the hundreds of millions of dollars”. It is said that many Caribbean nations have struggled to combat these schemes. Laws are outdated and can contain loopholes, according to the report. In Guyana, for example, pyramid selling is prohibited, but the law “only covers goods and services and not financial investments”. Following the “Cash Plus” scandal, Jamaica amended its financial laws in 2013 to explicitly ban Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda have no targeted legislation in place, according to the report. It is also said that financial fraud is a low priority of Caribbean governments that are scrambling to combat Covid and its effects. Across the Caribbean, as well as among Caribbean populations in the US, pyramid schemes are often disguised as communal savings clubs known as “sou-sous”, and the clubs often have innocuous names like “partners,” “box hands” or “blessing looms”. The clubs — derived in West-Africa — are used by people who don’t have easy access to banks.
I would be grateful for any modest contribution for my time and ongoing costs of computer, relocation, and (still ongoing) removal costs, I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y