Financial Markets Authority warns New Zealanders to 'stay away' from SkyWay Invest Group scheme

A controversial scheme promising "the chance to be a millionaire" is gaining traction, despite a warning from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

The SkyWay Invest Group (SWIG) has been holding seminars around New Zealand selling educational packages - with cryptocurrency as a bonus gift.

Newshub reporter Karen Rutherford managed to get into their invite-only regional conference at a secret location on Saturday.

They call it the new 'Economic Evolution of the World', and promise it will help you make money in your sleep.

The man they call 'the General', NZ head Neil Morrison, says "it's the ability to have the dreams you've always wanted".

The FMA has now issued two warnings about the organisation and its associated businesses after Belgium, Lithuania and Estonia did the same.

But SWIG is continuing to pull in the punters.

At SWIG's biggest gathering yet in Auckland, around 200 people met to hear how $53 US dollars could one day make them a million.

SWIG leaders stress they do not sell shares or investment deals, but educational packages. 

The packages start at $53 US dollars, and it's claimed they'll help the user better themselves and make sensible financial choices.

When you sign up to study online, you win a bonus gift of cryptocurrency. 

The claim is, with that cryptocurrency, people can become co-owners in global infrastructure like Skyway's next-gen EcoTechnoPark in Belarus. Or a diamond mine, gold mine, or a resort in Phuket.

People at the conference were convinced it would make them rich.

"You want to be a millionaire? That is the main reason we need to get into this, to get away from poverty," one person told Newshub.

The company stresses at each session it is not a registered broker or advisor and suggests getting independent financial advice.

But the FMA says beware. While cryptocurrency is not illegal, there are no regulations around it here yet.

"We are warning people to stay away from SkyWay Capital and all of the SkyWay group,"  Financial Markets Authority spokesperson Andrew Park told Newshub.

"Regulators in several European countries have also issued warnings."

There is an evangelical feel to these meetings. One SWIG leader told the crowds the Russian man behind the programme is "a saviour" and a gift from heaven changing lives.

When the Auckland crowd of 200 people was asked how many had jobs, just three put up their hands. 

But Neil Morrison denies the FMA's concerns that SWIG is focussing on those who can least afford it. A former New Zealand softballer, Morrison said he didn't have clearance to talk to Newshub about the educational packages or the cryptocurrency.

He maintains the FMA has got it wrong, and no one's even contacted SWIG which will, he claims, launch on global stock exchanges in October.