The rise and fall of Cameroon’s king of cryptocurrency, Émile Parfait Simb

Abu Mubarik December 13, 2022
Emile Parfait Simb © Emile Parfait Simb's Facebook account

Émile Parfait Simb was unknown in Cameroon until he became a major player in the cryptocurrency industry. He created an image of himself as a poor boy who became a multimillionaire courtesy of his profitable investments.

He first started as a computer teacher in a Douala high school. Just when the world moved into the ‘age of cryptocurrency,’ he quit his job and left for Dubai, according to the Africa Report. In Dubai, he took courses in trading digital currencies, which were not known by the average Cameroonian at the time. He returned to his country of birth with a rich experience in bitcoin and started buying and speculating in cryptocurrencies. 

He soon became the reference for exchanges between paper currency and cryptocurrencies in Douala, as stated by the Africa Report. As the craze for crypto went high in Cameroon, Simb saw an opportunity to make money. He noticed that Cameroonian cryptocurrency traders were having difficulties with the computer language. 

This led him to launch his first company, Global Investment Trading (GIT) in 2017. GIT functioned as a part financial investment company, and part network marketing company. Simb used GIT to promise investors returns ranging from 2%-37% depending on the value of the package chosen. His company soon made waves in the diaspora. And expanded to several countries in Africa with around 200,000 subscribers by the end of 2021.

The volume of transactions soon attracted the attention of local and international regulatory institutions. In 2021, Canada’s Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec (Financial Markets Authority) warned customers about “fraudulent representations” made by GIT. In Cameroon, the Commission de Surveillance du marché financier – Cosumaf (Financial Market Supervisory Commission) warned of the company’s illegal public offerings.

By November 2021, his fall came. Simb could not honor the interest he promised investors. However, he privately reassured customers that interest on their principal would be honored. Simb was eventually accused of running a Ponzi scheme by subscribers who had formed a collective to sue him. They filed complaints against Simb in Canada, the U.S. and Cameroon. 

On May 26, he was arrested at Douala airport while on his way to Morocco. According to the Africa Report, Simb was later released on bail condition. However, his victims assured the Africa Report that they will continue their fight until the end.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 13, 2022


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