Pension frauds


12th July 2015: The BBC ONE UK television programme PANORAMA last night exposed another Cape Verde scam, this time by prominent developer TRG (The Resort Group). Panorama journalists discovered that, after the financial crash of 2008, TRG looked for other ways of raising the money to finish their Cape Verde developments. They set up a sales office in the UK in the disguise of a Pension Advice service and they used unqualified financial advisors to mislead pensioners and pension holders into transferring their pension money into Cape Verde developments, promising unrealistic returns of over 10% p.a.

These victims did not know that they were putting money into very illiquid investments and in a property market that has been in serious distress since 2008. In fact, the Vila Verde resort is right next door to TRG's developments on Sal Island and the developer Tecnicil has been trying to sell 650 of their properties at under half the original sale price. Their latest accounts show they managed to sell just 1 of those properties in the previous 12 month period. The Vila Verde resort sits largely as a ghost town with few tourists booking holidays there.

The Cape Verde government recently set up a company in Brussels called Afroverde Capital Partners to entice EU and UK pensioners to invest up to 100 million Euros in yet more properties that are not even on the main tourist islands. This, even though Cape Verde's three main tourist islands are littered with failed developments. Read more about it here

I cannot stress enough - Cape Verde is a high risk investment in an unregulated industry. Should you have problems, the Cape Verde government and courts will not help you - that has been proved by many UK and Irish investors since 2006. You may consider it safer to gamble your money in a casino.

If you have any knowledge of companies in the EU or UK that are trying to entice people into investing their pension money in Cape Verde please contact me and I will publish the details here. The UK Pensions Regulator TPR state that "Investment in The Resort Group is entirely illiquid. The investment can only be sold upon completion (not due until 31 December 2016, assuming there are no delays in construction). There are concerns as to whether or not a viable secondary market exists.’

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