As Covid-19 continues to sweep around the globe, businesses are hard hit. Millions have shut down, people are losing their jobs and the hope of living and seeing a better tomorrow is quickly diminishing.
As many business owners become hopeless about the survival of their source of livelihood, they tend to fall for anyone with the intention of funding them, and, in the process, instead of resurrecting their businesses, they kill them.
There are conmen on the loose, hyenas dressed in sheepskin, disguised as ‘genuine’ investors whose agenda is to gain access into your investment, steal everything, sell your business behind your back and leave you for the dogs.
These rogue investors are like the proverbial hunters and gatherers, only these ones are hunting for vulnerable companies, use their financial prowess to invest in them, bribe their way up the ladder in terms of management then drive out the rightful owners.
Today, we want to bring to the surface one such company that is disguised as an investment vehicle but causing pain around the world by taking part in money laundering, bringing down companies, and causing loss of jobs for thousands of people.
If you would like to read more on the money laundering activities of ECP, have a look at this piece we did on Unmasking ECP’s Money Laundering Activities; Stealing From Unsuspecting Investments
If you have lived around long enough, you may have heard about Emerging Capital Partners (ECP). This is a seemingly criminal enterprise that is at the center of the collapse of the once giant construction company, Spencon. It is also the company behind money laundering activities in Nigeria cleaning billions of dollars stolen by corrupt politicians.
In April 2012, ECP was embroiled in a huge money laundering activity in Nigeria where it was established that it was involved in fraud and the laundering of millions of dollars looted by James Ibori, the ex-Governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State. Ibori is reported to have stolen up to US$3 billion from Delta State’s coffers with the help of ECP.
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (a specialized police unit) confirmed that Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) was the subject of a criminal investigation and that it had been established that the company acted as a conduit in siphoning billions out of Nigeria.
The European Union’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was similarly investigating allegations that ECP defrauded investors, including the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), European Investment Bank (EIB) and CDC (the investment arm of DfID), of some US$5 million.
ECP is that company that will come to you as your only option for your company’s financial freedom. They are very generous in investing but their aim is not to grow with you, but to edge you out of your own business so that they can sell it, make more money and move on to kill another business.
Many people still do not know how Spencon came down. Spencon was not a company that could just collapse without warning. The company had roots in nice countries and stamped its authority in major projects across East Africa.
How did such a profitable and respected company come down? What happened such that thousands of people who worked for Spencon lost their jobs without pay and their lives have never been the same again? What mistake did the managers of Spencon make to kill such a profitable company? They made one mistake; they trusted ECP.
This piece will open your eyes so that you never make a similar mistake to that of the Spencon owners. Do not let the money-carrying-criminals, the smiling suit-wearing-looters at ECP make you part of the statistics of a failed company.
When a company goes down, the first casualties are usually employees who depend on the company for livelihood. If you would like to find out more about the plight of Spencon’s former employees, then this piece “Spencon Case Illustration Of Kenyan Workers’ Plight” will help you.
In September 2006, ECP Africa Fund II, managed by ECP Africa – an investment vehicle for the US private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) – invested a total of $15 million in Spencon. Among the prominent investors in ECP Africa Fund II was the CDC of the UK.
Trouble started in mid-2011 when ECP through their hired consultants, Andrew Ross and Steven Haswell conspired to wrestle control of the company from its founders by manipulating the findings of the internal audit reports with the sole aim of forcefully acquiring all of the company’s shares to “flip” the company at a huge profit.
Unknown to Spencon, ECP was in secret negotiations with, amongst others, one UAE based competitor who had expressed interest in acquiring the company.
ECP had offered to sell 100 percent of the company’s shares. Fortunately, this did not go through as the remaining Spencon founders blocked it through a court order. Had this greedy plan gone through, ECP would have yielded a 200%+ profit. The case is still in court.
As you think of someone to invest in your company, be vigilant and run as fast as you can when the name ECP pops up on the list.