Hindenburg Research, a US-based investment research firm, has accused Tingo Group, a Nigerian company, of being an “exceptionally obvious scam with completely fabricated financials”.
Tingo’s lies: Hindenburg accused Tingo’s founder and CEO Dozy Mmuobuosi of lying about creating the first mobile payment app in Nigeria. It also reported that the Malaysian university which Dozy claimed gave him a PhD said that no one by his name was found in their verification system.
Tingo founder Dozy Mmuobuosi
More fabrications: In 2021, Tingo announced that it had partnered with Nigerian bank FCMB to expand its mobile services, which would birth its payment group, TingoPay. Two days after the announcement, FCMB debunked the claim. Hindenburg also reported that Tingo photoshopped its logo on another PoS operator’s devices and claimed that the PoS and other merchant products were offerings of its payment group, TingoPay. The firm also said it found that no links to the TingoPay app are on the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
The company also reportedly photoshopped pictures of aeroplanes which it posted online in 2019 as planes of its airline “Tingo Airlines”. The Athletic reported in February that Tingo Airlines’ registered address was removed from its documents, with a note saying that the address was “invalid or ineffective and was forged”.
Disappearing acts: Tingo also claimed that its mobile handset leasing, call, and data segments generated $128 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2023. Hindenburg reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed no record of Tingo being a mobile licencee, despite the company’s claims of having 12 million mobile customers.
Hindenburg also debunked Tingo’s claim that its agricultural export business, Tingo DMCC, was on track to deliver over $1.34 billion in 9 months—more than Nigeria’s export in the whole of the previous year. Even worse, the company was not listed in the Nigerian customs database. In addition, Hindenburg found that the links on the website for NWASSA Twigo’s marketplace for farmers in Ghana are not working.
More drama in store: Tingo Group’s share price has been plummeting since Hinderberg Research published its findings and announced that it is shorting the company’s shares. Tingo’s shareholder’s meeting is, however, set to hold at 2 PM WAT today.