By G9ija

UGRF had petitioned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over allegations that Nigerians are being defrauded by an online trade merchant group, Paxful based in Estonia.

The non-governmental organisation at a press briefing on Sunday in Abuja through its Executive Director, Shalom Olaseni, said it is high-time the CBN put some measures and guidelines that would regulate the activities of all online merchant groups operating in Nigeria.

“There is the need for proper regulation of online trade merchant platforms in Nigeria so as to stop Nigerians particularly the youths to being defrauded by these online trade groups,” he said.  

Reacting to the allegation, Paxful Public Relations Manager, Nina Paragoso in a statement made available to newsmen, said Paxful does not tolerate fraud or illicit activity from any of its users or employees, adding that the Paxful team is committed to providing a safe and open financial marketplace for everyone, and to that end, enforces specific terms and conditions on all platform users.

Paragoso explained that as part of the commitment to reduce fraud and any other illicit activity on the platform, a month ago, the online merchant group announced that they have teamed up with Jumio, a digital customer identity verification company, in order to improve anti-money laundering procedures and combat fraud on our marketplace globally.

The statement reads in part: “As part of our standard operating procedures, we cooperate with local law enforcement investigations and inquiries as they may pertain to activity on our platform and we are supportive of their efforts. Ultimately, our desire is for the proceeds of any crime to be returned to victims in cooperation with the directives of any local authorities. 

“We do not freeze or ban customer accounts in any country arbitrarily. We have clear terms and conditions which a user is required to read and accept prior to creating an account on our platform. Accounts that violate our terms and conditions are flagged for investigation.

“As part of these investigations, Paxful often will require a flagged account holder to provide additional information and to go through additional KYC procedures. The funds in these accounts are held until Paxful can resolve its concerns.”

She therefore, assured its customers globally particularly Nigerians that they are responsible consumers, noting, “we have a responsibility to them to be vigilant about security on our platform. We will continue to partner with our customers to uplift the importance of regulation and compliance in the peer-to-peer finance sector,” she added.