After many months of investigating the atrocities allegedly committed by The First Group, a property firm said to be based in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday closed down the Abuja Office of the entity, accusing it of fleecing unsuspecting Nigerians to the tune of $200 billion.
The sealed office of the company is located on the 7th floor of the Bank of Industry Building in the Central Business District, Abuja.
A top source in EFCC said the firm was shut because it was implicated in what it called phony real estate scam in which innocent Nigerians were duped to the tune of $200 billion.
According to the anti-graft agency, it is as a result of the scam that the commission raided the Abuja office in May this year as part of its investigations into the alleged large-scale fraud perpetrated by the Group.
The source said: “Investigations into the scam revealed that the company originally known as TFG Real Estate Limited operates in Nigeria in the guise of being The First Group Company, a Dubai-based real estate firm, which is not registered in Nigeria.
“The modus operandi of the company is to lure innocent Nigerians interested in owning properties in Dubai, into parting with their hard-earned money.
“They are mandated to make the payment in instalments; however, the payment is deliberately structured in such a way that the debt is difficult to offset, and as soon as one defaults, the money will be “seized” by the company.
“The company is implicated in a phony real estate scam in which innocent Nigerians were duped to the tune of $200 billion.
“EFCC operatives had in May 2016 raided the office as part of investigations in the alleged property fraud. Several implicating documents were discovered, including a list of high profile patrons.”
Attempts to get reaction from the corporate headquarters of the firm in Dubai were unsuccessful as the office claimed ignorance of sealing of the property in Abuja.
The office, which was contacted by Vanguard around 6p.m. on +971 4 455 0282, said they would, however, get in touch with our correspondent at a future date in order to respond to the development.
A message on the TFG website claims, among other things: “When you invest in property with The First Group, our promise is to provide you with much more than amazing real estate and lucrative returns.
“Ownership with us gives you instant membership to our prestigious club and access to a world of exciting rewards and privileges, from cash returns and investment property credit to fully paid Dubai holidays. We invite you to discover more about these outstanding benefits, created exclusively for our owners.
“As a property owner with The First Group, you are our top priority. Our commitment to you is to ensure you enjoy a superior level of service that goes above and beyond simply buying an amazing property in Dubai.
“This is why we have created a specialised company, The First Group Asset Management, to look after every aspect of your finished investment property.
“Their highly skilled team of industry specialists have an impressive track record spanning decades of experience in the global hotel and property market. Our property investors can rest assured that they are in expert hands. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the rewards of a truly effortless investment.”