The nation of Colombia in South American, best known for its coffee, recently gained a new Internet first (as far as I know): the first nationwide fraud investigation announced via Twitter.

NoticiasUno (News One) of Colombia got wind of a potential pyramid / Ponzi scheme coming to town in October 2013, and they sent in an undercover reporter complete with hidden camera and microphone. They were able to record this seminar, given at a hotel near the airport of the capital, Bogota, where people just "buy units" (i.e. put money in), and it will pay small amounts over longer periods, giving you a net return.

Colombia is no stranger to pyramid / ponzi schemes, having just wiped out DMG Grupo and dozens of other similar schemes in 2008 with a single day nationwide crackdown. The head of DMG, David Murcia, was extradited to the US to face money laundering charges, after being arrested in Panama.

NoticiasUno then tweeted about the investigation.

Translated: International Pyramid (scheme) shows its business in Colombia #wcm777.


The scheme is WCM777 a ponzi scheme that was actually being investigated by US State of Massachussetts at the time, though that wasn't revealed until later.

What happened next is historical:

Translation: WCM777 pyramid reported by NoticiasUno should be investigated by police at once. Please procede, General Palomino


This is no less than president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, ordering his National Police Chief, General Rodolfo Palomino, to start an investigation of this pyramid scheme immediately... via Twitter.

And General Palomino responded via Twitter 17 minutes later:

Translation: As you command, Mr. President. All of the police investigative powers will be used to remove what cheats Colombians.

Once the wheels of justice start rolling, things happens FAST. Next morning, General Palomino has called upon all relevant agencies to look into this scheme, which obviously has NO license to operate in Colombia. Less than 3 weeks later 16-NOV-2013, it was announced via national news (esp. NoticiasUno) that WCM777, along with 40 other scams, have been explicitly outlawed in Colombia.

What was interesting is only one day prior to that (15-NOV-2013), it was announced by US State of Massachusetts that WCM777 has agreed to a consent order to not do any business in that state because it was caught selling unregistered securities. [Link to Massachusetts AG PDF] Which basically means WCM777 was operating a Ponzi scheme. The order also revealed that MA AG had notified WCM of the finding in September 2013 (at which time WCM closed their US office in California and reopened in Hong Kong) .

Can your government work this fast?