Bengaluru: In a shocking revelation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said the agency had sent an alert to the state government way back in February about the potential Ponzi scheme run by Ambidant Marketing, and that action should be taken against the firm. The government, however, seems to have done nothing to stop the scam.
“Our strong feeling is that the state government could have averted the damage done to gullible people who had invested in Ambidant if it had quickly acted on our alert,” TOI quoted an ED official as saying.
In a statement detailing their investigation, the ED said it had conducted search operations on January 4 and 5, 2018 on various premises belonging to Ambidant in Bengaluru after receiving a tip from the Income Tax Department that it was involved in forex trading. “Forex trading to the extent of ₹4.2 crore and several FEMA violations, such as floating a firm in Dubai and opening bank accounts in a foreign country without permission from RBI, came to light. The matter was adjudicated by the Joint Director and a penalty of ₹1.86 crore was recovered,” said the ED statement.
Ambidant Marketing, which was established by father and son duo Syed Ahmed Fareed and Syed Ahmed Afaq, and Irfan Mirza on 20 December 2016 had systematically targeted the city’s Muslim community in the name of Halal investment. The company lured investors with hefty monthly fixed returns and even promised to double the amount within a few months.
“From inception (on 20.12.2016), the company has so far received investment totaling to ₹954.05 crore,” said the ED in its statement.
Ambidant is not the first company, which under the garb of halal investments has duped gullible people of large sums of money. In January this year, Capital Plus and Capital Infrastructure, a firm promising similar high returns on investment duped over 200 investors of over Rs. 300 crores. On September 24, Morgenall another so-called ‘halal’ investment company shut down its office, and the owners went untraceable. Burraqh, Ajmera, Injaz International, Aleef, Aala Ventures, and several other companies have allegedly siphoned off large sums of money, by specifically targeting the Muslim community.