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Conned Colombians riot over 'pyramid' scams

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Conned Colombians riot over 'pyramid' scams

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There have been violent protests across Colombia after thousands of people lost savings in pyramid investment schemes.

Curfews have been imposed in place in three cities after victims of the scams vented their anger on the streets.

A number of phony loan companies, who had offered interest rates of up to 150 percent, suddenly disappeared with their clients’ money.

President Alvaro Uribe said the government was trying to crackdown on the fraudsters. But he urged people against investing in such get-rich-quick schemes. Quoting the bible he said: “You will earn your bread by the sweat of your brow.”

In the city of Popayan an angry crowd plundered the offices of one finance business they claimed had swindled them.

Conventional savings accounts are unpopular in Colombia because of high fees.